A speech by Pope Francis will be launched into orbit by a SpaceX rocket

A speech by Pope Francis will be launched into orbit by a SpaceX rocket


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

The “nano-book” will be orbited at an altitude of 525 km by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that will take off on June 10 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, announced the Holy See during a press conference 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 of solar panels and designed by students from the Polytechnic 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 St. Peter's Square, the head of the Catholic Church had urged the “frightened and lost” world to reconsider 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.

< p>The objective of this collaboration is to send this speech “beyond terrestrial borders to reach from space as many women and men as possible on our planet in difficulty”, explained the president of the Italian Space Agency, 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.