ROME – Sicilian amateur scientists have launched a model cannolo, a cream-stuffed pastry roll symbolic of the Italian island, into the stratosphere, capturing bizarre images of the dessert flying far above Earth last month.
The “Sicilian Space Program,” which cost roughly €350, had symbolic importance as well as being a scientific feat, the three natives behind the feat on the island town of Enna said.
“Sicily has always been a place of negative connotations, Mafia and unemployment. We wanted to lift up Sicily in our own way,” said filmmaker Fabio Leone, 34, who recorded the project with Antonella Barbera, 38.
Attached to a helium-filled balloon, the home-made Cannolo Transporter equipped with two cameras and a GPS tracker captured stunning and comical images as the cannolo soared toward space. It rose to at least 29,768 meters.
As a real cannolo would be unlikely to survive the voyage, the group made a model of the cherry-studded pastry with a polymer clay material hardened in an oven.
Atmospheric pressure decreased as the Cannolo Transporter rose, causing the balloon to expand until it eventually burst. It then tumbled back to Earth, slowed by a small parachute, landing 25 km from where it had been launched at the peak of the Rocca di Cerere nature park.