Pope Francis makes long distance phone call to space

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Pope Francis makes long distance phone call to space

Pope Francis has become the second pope in history to make a phone call to space.

Communicating via video link on October 26, the pope spoke with the six astronauts currently on board the International Space Station for around 20 minutes.

The space station is currently manned by astronauts from Russia, the United States and Italy.

According to the Independent newspaper, the pope asked the crew about their thoughts on the place of man in the universe based on their experience in space, as well as what brings them the most joy in their work.

The Guardian newspaper reported that American mission commander Randy Bresnik told the pope that they saw a world without borders or conflicts from their point of view above the Earth.

“What gives me the greatest joy is to look outside every day and see God’s creation - maybe a little bit from his perspective,” the Guardian reported Bresnik as saying.

“The future of humanity looks better from up here,” he said.

The pope replied that Bresnik had “managed to understand that the Earth is too fragile and it passes in a moment”.

The astronauts took it in turns to speak with the pope.

For Italian Paolo Nespoli, it was the second time he has spoken with a pontiff during a space mission. He was on his second mission when Pope Benedict XVI called the International Space Station in 2011.

Prior to the video call, the Catholic Herald reported comments made by American astronaut Jack Fischer who returned to Earth after a 136 day mission to the International Space Station on September 3 this year.

According to the Catholic Herald, Fischer said his faith grew while he was in orbit.

“You look out the window and you can’t help but feel that we’re just one small part of a bigger whole,” Fischer is reported to have said.

“Just seeing this mind-blowing beauty of the universe, it grows your faith in ways that it’s hard to even describe.”