May 20, 2011
Papal Call To The Space Station
His Holiness the Pope will talk with the astronauts aboard the International Space Station from the Vatican Library on Saturday, 21 May. The inflight call will take place at 13:11 CEST (11:11 GMT).
The 12 astronauts aboard the International Space Station have been busy since Space Shuttle Endeavour arrived at the orbital complex last Wednesday. They installed the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer on Thursday for investigating "Ëdark matter' and antimatter, and performed the first spacewalk of the mission on Friday.
On Saturday the astronauts will take a short break for a unique event: a video call with His Holiness Benedict XVI. This will be the first papal call to the Space Station.
ESA astronauts Roberto Vittori and Paolo Nespoli and their colleagues will talk for 20 minutes with His Holiness, who will be in the Foconi Room of the Vatican Library.
Present at the event in the Vatican will be Thomas Reiter, ESA Director for Human Spaceflight and Operations, Enrico Saggese, President of the Italian Space Agency, and General Giuseppe Bernardis, Italian Air Force. The event will be broadcast live.
His Holiness will talk with the crew in English and also address ESA's two Italian astronauts in Italian.
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