Pope Calls Shuttle Crew, Keeps Giffords in Mind
'I hope her health continues to improve'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2011 9:42 AM CDT
In this photo released by Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI talks with the astronauts.   (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano)
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(Newser) – Pope Benedict made a very long distance call this morning to the combined crews of shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station, notes SpaceFlight Now. And Gabby Giffords was on his mind. "I know that Mark Kelly's wife was a victim of a serious attack and I hope her health continues to improve," said the pope, who blessed the astronauts and turned Giffords' shooting into a theological question. "When you're contemplating the Earth from up there, do you ever wonder about the way nations and people live together down here, about how science can contribute to the cause of peace?"

Responded Kelly, who the AP notes is Catholic: "Thank you for the kind words, your holiness, and thank you for mentioning my wife, Gabby." He took a shot at answering, noting that war frequently erupts over energy resources. "The science and technology that we put into the space station to develop a solar power capability gives us pretty much an unlimited amount of energy," he said. "And if those technologies could be adapted more on Earth, we could possibly reduce some of that violence." Click to read about Giffords' successful skull surgery this week.