NASA TV: Pope Francis Calls International Space Station –“Probes Crew About Our Place in the Universe” (WATCH Video)




Pope Francis became the second pope ever to make a phone call to space on Thursday when he spoke with astronauts at the International Space Station in  a 20-minute conversation  the crew of Expedition 5253, which was streamed live on NASA TV. Pope Francis posed several questions about humans’ place in the universe to six astronauts hailing from the United States, Italy and Russia.

“As you’re contemplating the undoubted limits of the universe, it makes us think about where we come from and where we’re going,” he said. “In light of your experiences in space, what are your thoughts regarding the place of man in the universe?” the Pope began.


Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli admitted the complexity of the Pope’s question, and said that thinking about where we come from leaves him “perplexed.”

“I think that our objective here is that of knowing our being and to fill our knowledge to understand what’s around us,” he said. “But on the other hand, an interesting thing is that the more we know, the more we realize how little we know,” Nespoli continued.

Pope Francis also pointed out a painting in the room he was sitting in that is based on the Divine Comedy — a narrative poem written by Italian poet Dante Alighieri in the 14th century about the section of the poem that refers to love as a force that “moves the sun and the other stars,” and asked the crew whether they’d refer to love as the force that moves the universe.

Russian crew member Alexander Misurkin responded, suggesting the famous children’s book, The Little Prince — a story where a boy is prepared to give his life for the well-being of someone he cares about. “The best example of what is love is perhaps what is shown in this book.”


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