'Sicilian Space Programme': Amateur scientists send pastry into space [video]
The homemade spacecraft, complete with onboard cameras, cost just 350 euros and was taken into the stratosphere by a large helium filled balloon
Amature scientists in Sicily have launched a small model of a cannolo - a cream-filled pastry roll which is a symbol of the Italian island - into the stratosphere using a homemade spacecraft.
The 'Sicilian Space Programme', which cost just €350, reached at least 29,768 metres according to Paolo Capasso, 37, a computer technician who carried out the careful calculations behind the launch.
The spacecraft, branded the 'Cannolo Transporter', was attached to a large helium-filled balloon and came complete with a GPS tracker and two cameras that were able to capture a humorous video as the cannolo soared above the clouds towards space.
The craft was made from an insulated ice cream box, which protected the camera batteries from temperatures that dropped below -50 degrees Celsius.
As a stand-in for a real cannolo, which is unlikely to have survived the journey, the team made a model of the pastry using a polymer clay material hardened in an oven.
The project had symbolic importance as well as being a scientific feat, Mr Capasso and his two partners, all natives of the island town of Enna, told Reuters.
“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.
Long plagued by organised crime, the heavily indebted island was forced to impose a strict spending programme by Rome in 2012. Sicily now has one of the highest unemployment rates in Italy.
After it’s trip into space, the Canola Transporter slowly fell back to earth, carried by a small parachute which was triggered when the expanding balloon finally burst.
The miniscule craft landed in hills near the village of Bompietro, 15 miles from where it had been launched at the peak of the Rocca di Cerere nature park. It was recovered by the team who followed the GPS signal.
Animals found with 'puncture holes the size of a human finger'
Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Black Friday 2014: Opening hours for John Lewis, Asda, PC World, GAME and Argos
- 4 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
- 5 Jeremy Hunt: 'I took my children to A&E because I didn't want to wait for GP appointment'
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Sarah Vine on Jack Monroe being a lesbian mother: 'If she was unsure about her sexuality, she should have taken greater precautions'
Black Friday 2014: Opening hours for John Lewis, Asda, PC World, GAME and Argos
Michael Brown shooting: Ten things we know – or know better – now the Ferguson grand jury's work is over
Ferguson riots: The most powerful images to emerge from protests over Michael Brown killing
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Exclusive: UK approved £7m Israeli arms sales in six months before Gaza conflict
£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A truly exciting opportunity has ari...
£40000 per annum + Benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Systems Developer (C/C+...
£22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An experienced Systems Manager ...
£25000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful, VC-funded star...