Vatican to send papal speech into space


The Vatican presented on Monday a project to send into space a miniaturized digital book containing a message of hope delivered by Pope Francis in 2020, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

This “nano-book” will be put into orbit at an altitude of 525 km by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket which will take off on June 10 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the Holy See announced during a conference of press in Rome.

The micro-engraved electronic part of barely 2 mm will be embarked on a rectangular satellite of about thirty cm (a "CubeSat") equipped with solar panels and designed by students from the Polytechnic School of Turin (Italy).

It will contain a speech delivered by Pope Francis on March 27, 2020 in the midst of a pandemic. That day, alone in a deserted and rain-swept Saint Peter's Square, the head of the Catholic Church urged the "scared and lost" world to review its priorities.

Baptized "Spei Satelles" ("satellite of hope", in Latin), the project - whose budget has not been specified - is being carried out jointly by the Vatican, the Italian Space Agency and various Italian institutes.

The objective of this collaboration is to send this discourse "beyond terrestrial borders to reach from space as many women and men as possible on our planet in difficulty", explained the president of the Space Agency. Italian, Giorgio Saccoccia.

In October 2017, the Argentine pope spoke live by videoconference with astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS), an initiative already led by his predecessor Benedict XVI.

The Editorial Board (with AFP)

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