Three amateur scientists from Enna, Sicily, decided to compete with NASA engineers by…launching a Sicilian cannolo into space.
The typical Sicilian pastry – a model made of synthetic material as a real one couldn’t have survived the journey - was placed on a weather balloon filled with helium and equipped with a miniature camera to document the enterprise. The launch, which had to be officially approved, took place on February 2, despite adverse weather conditions.
The balloon was launched from the peak of the Rocca di Cerere, the mountain overlooking Enna. It went up to 30,000 meters, flying over Catania, then on to Western Sicily, before landing in the village of Bompietro, in the province of Palermo, where it was recovered by the team, thanks to the GPS signal.
The experiment was perfectly successful.
“Our Sicilian Space Program was born from a bet and the decision to challenge ourselves. A gift meant for all Sicilians, and a way to make them smile,” the creators, Antonella Barbera, Fabio Leone and Paolo Capasso, said. "For us, this great little gesture is a gift to the cosmos, a technological rite and even just a simple ironic gesture to lift up Sicily, which has been a place of negative connotations for decades, in our own way.”
Watch the cannolo launch into space: