Pope Francis Continues Support for the Sciences
In a few weeks’ time, Pope Francis is scheduled to call the international space station. The Vatican reported that the Pope would call the station on Thursday 26th October at 5 pm. No further details were provided.
The Pope has been known to support the Pontifical Academy of Science. This institution brings about scientists from around the world to tackle emerging issues. These issues include climate change and global warming. The academy was founded in the early 20th century by Pope Pius XI. Since then, the institution has always thrived under the blessing of the Papacy. It is currently headed by the Chancellor Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo.
Currently, the international space station has six crew members. They comprise of three American citizens, two astronauts from Russia and one Italian. These are Randy Bresnik, Sergey Ryazansky, Paolo Nespoli, Mark Vande Hei, Joseph Acaba and Alexander Misurkin. The first three astronauts have been in space for over seventy days while the other three have been there for a month.
The Space station currently orbits the earth at two hundred and twenty miles. For the astronauts to get there, they use a unique Russian aircraft known as the Soyuz spacecraft. This spacecraft takes off from Kazakstan. Recently, there have been improvements in the spacecraft making it arrive at the space station in four orbits. This is equivalent to six hours. When the astronauts are getting back, the ship transports three people at a time.
The topic of discussion of the Pope’s phone call is still unknown. We can only speculate that the Pope wishes to congratulate the crew on their bold efforts and offer them words of encouragement on their remaining period in space. What is clear is that the Papacy continues to support scientific ventures in a bid to find solutions to world problems.