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Pope's message of hope in orbit from June 10

Pope's message of hope in orbit from June 10

'Nanobook' with 2020 pandemic prayer to be launched

ROME, 27 March 2023, 15:46

Redazione ANSA




Pope Francis' message of hope and peace for our troubled world is about to lift off into space.
    The Spei Satelles, or "Guardian of Hope" satellite - a product of collaboration between the Italian Space Agency (ASI), the National Research Council (CNR), the Vatican's Dicastery for Communication and Turin's Politecnico university - will carry a record of the Pope's Statio Orbis of 27 March 2020, held at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, into orbit around the Earth.
    The SpeiSat 3U CubeSat will launch on 10 June 2023 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in the US state of California aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which will place it in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at an altitude of 525km. It will broadcast excerpts of the text to Earth via radio.
    The satellite—about the size of an American football—will house a "nanobook" version of Pope Francis' Why Are You Afraid? Have You No Faith?, a book containing images and words from the Statio Orbis. The nanobook was created by the Politecnico University of Turin, is about the size of the tip of a pen, and can only be read by highly-advanced nanotechnology reading devices.Yet, anyone with an amateur UHF-band radio can pick up a broadcast beamed from the satellite on 437.5 MHz to hear excerpts from the Pope's book as it passes overhead.
    The nanobook will be put on board the 30cm cubesat by a group of 25 young men and women led by Sabrina Corpino, director of the Turin Politecnico's Systems and Technologies Laboratory for Aerospace Research "For us who work in space," said ASI President Giorgio Saccoccia, "this project has a profound significance and it was natural to give a contribution because for us space has always had a meaning of peace". The cubesat will remain in orbit for at least six months and will transmit via radio waves excerpts of the text that can be picked up by simple amateur equipment.


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