Wednesday, March 05, 2014


Look out, NASA! You've got competition from Sicily, no less, in the form of the "Sicilian Space Program"! This was the brainchild of three young people from Enna - Antonella Barbera, Fabio Leone and Paolo Capasso - who one evening had the idea of sending a cannolo into space.

Our determined space pioneers paid for the mission from their own funds and equipped themselves with two video cameras, an empty ice cream carton, a GPS system, a helium-filled balloon, a small parachute and, of course, the "cannolo", made from modelling paste.

Next, they had to get permission from Enac [the Italian Civil Aviation Authority], Enav [the company which provides civilian air traffic control to the Italian state] and the military at Sigonella - all of which took 45 days, during which time the three friends finalised the details of their project.

At last, the launch date of 2nd February arrived and the cannolo took off from Rocca di Cirere in the Enna Geopark. It reached a height of almost 30,000 metres before the balloon disintegrated two hours later and the parachute brought the adventurous cannolo back to earth as planned. It was retrieved by the "Sicilian Space Program" team at Bompietro in the Madonie [Palermo Province], 25 km from the launch site. 

Antonella, Fabio and Paolo say they see the cannolo flight as a gift to Sicilians and hope it has made them smile. I think it is safe to say they have achieved this, as the video has now gone viral. They also say they celebrated with a cannoli party - let's hope that this time they were well-deserved real ones!


Lee said...

That reminds me of "Rocket Man", the wonderful TV series starring the delicious Robson Green of "Wire in the Blood" fame.

Now I'm off to put a pizza together for my lunch!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I've never seen that series, Lee. Buon appetito!

James Higham said...

A very great contribution to world peace. They're a malnourished lot in space.

Hawkins Family said...

Ah how cute!

Rowena said...

Cue "A Space Odyssey theme song"...what a nice little mission!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Better than making war, James! I thought so, too, Hawkins Family. Yes, we definitely need that song, Rowena!

CherryPie said...

What fun :-)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It certainly cheered me up, Cherie!


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