Sunday, April 24, 2011
reaching out: pope may make first call to space
from fox news: The Pope may make a special call to the International Space Station during the upcoming flight of the space shuttle Endeavour, according to a NASA official. In what would be the first papal call to space, discussions are underway to try to arrange for Pope Benedict XVI to speak to two Italian astronauts onboard the space station, NASA spokesman Rob Navias told SPACE.com. NASA is discussing the potential call with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Italian Space Agency (Agenzia Spaziale Italian or ASI), he said. "No final decision has been made – it is under discussion," Navias said. "We are discussing with ESA and ASI the potential of the pontiff calling the crew in a scheduled event slot that belongs to ESA... Part of what will drive this, in whether or not it comes to fruition, is whether or not we launch on April 29, what the Pope's schedule looks like and whether there is any other opportunities if we launch later than the 29th."