Pope Francis’ writings launched into space
By Christian George
Spei Satelles has launched a rocket carrying the words of Pope Francis’ writings into space.
The satellite which carried the nano book with the words of hope by Pope Francis given in St. Peter’s Square in 2020, when humanity was facing the most acute phase of the pandemic, has departed from California’s Vanderberg base.
According to Vatican News, the rocket carrying a satellite with a tiny nano book took off overnight, at 11:19 pm Italy time, from Vandenberg Space Base in California.
The nano book contains words of hope of Pope Francis promoting global unity in the face of the pandemic, words the Pope gave alone in a rain-soaked St. Peter’s Square on 27 March 2020.
Once in orbit, the Cubesat made by the Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy, will broadcast excerpts of the Pope’s messages of hope, which can be picked up by radio enthusiasts around the world.
The space mission which is promoted by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication is also coordinated by the Italian Space Agency.
The nano book was made by Italy’s National Research Center while the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Turin’s Polytechnic University built the satellite and students at Salesian University Institute of Venice created the logo for the initiative.
The IDCGE of Buenos Aires also participated in the project, while the Digital Apostolate of Turin handled the pastoral and cultural coordination of the mission.
The nano book, a small silicon plate roughly two by two millimetres, that contains a binary code engraving of the Pope’s words and photos from the 2020 Statio Orbis in St. Peter’s Square, will broadcast excerpts of the Pope’s messages of hope, which can be picked up by radio enthusiasts around the world.
Pope Francis on 29 March blessed the satellite.
The rocket which reached space via the Falcon 9 carrier rocket from Space X will be positioned 525 kilometers above the Earth in synchrony with the sun’s rotation.
It will then fly over every point on the Earth’s surface at the same local solar time. Each time it rises, those connected to the 437.5 Mhz frequency can be reached with the Pope’s words of comfort and encouragement on the journey of hope.