There's a new entrant in the space race, and this team comes bearing pastries.
According to Reuters on Thursday, three men from the Sicilian town of Enna decided to do their country proud by fathering the 'Sicilian Space Program' and successfully launching a model of a cannolo, the famous (and delicious) Italian pastry, into space.
"Sicily has always been a place of negative connotations, mafia and unemployment," Fabio Leone, 34, said. "We wanted to lift up Sicily in our own way."
Antonella Barbera, 38, and Paolo Capasso, 37, were also behind the project, with Barbera acting as a filmmaker alongside Leone and Capasso doing the calculations.
The amateur scientists got the cannolo in flight with a homemade helium balloon dubbed the "Cannolo Transporter," which was equipped with two cameras and a GPS tracker. Altogether, the project cost about 350 euros ($485). The balloon reportedly reached at least 29,768 meters (97,664 feet) in altitude and captured some beautiful images of the heavens with the camera, all with the polymer clay cannolo humorously perched in the corner of the shot.
After the balloon burst and fell back to Earth, the team recovered it about 15 miles away from the launch site. Vivi Sicilia uploaded Leone and Barbera's finished product chronicling the trio's "cosmic dream" on Wednesday.
The video's description reads: "It's a gift to the Sicilians and a way to make them smile; a performance, an ironic-scientific experiment in order to reevaluate, for a moment, a land renowned for too many negative bests: Sicily."