Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI speaks to astronauts.

As Rocco Palmo reported earlier today on Whispers in the Loggia, Pope Benedict XVI has just become the first pontiff to enjoy a live exchange with astronauts orbiting the Earth:
Over four decades after his predecessor of the time greeted the prelate whose diocese encompassed Cape Canaveral as the "Bishop of the Moon" and hailed the Apollo 11 team as the "conquerors" of the lunar surface, earlier today saw Benedict XVI boldly go where no Pope has gone before as the pontiff held a live chat with the crew of the International Space Station, which took place as NASA winds down its decades-long investment in the shuttle program.

Beyond a discussion of science, emotions and the troubles of the planet, B16 turned personal in the 15-minute Q&A session - arguably the greatest extension of his preferred encounters (but, this time, with him asking the questions) - referencing the January attack in Tucson that killed several and gravely injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (the wife of the American captain of the venture, Capt. Mark Kelly) and the recent death of the mother of an Italian crew-member, astronaut Paolo Nespoli.
For more, including video and a full transcript of the Pope's exchange with the crew of the International Space Station, click here. My instant reaction to all of this, in one word: Cool! AMDG.


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