One astronaut came down from space to visit children in the Pope's hospital

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From space to Rome, Italian astronaut Walter Villadei visited children hospitalized at the Bambino Gesù. Many of them said they want to grow up and become astronauts.

-Vicenzo's question is: What do I have to do to become an astronaut?
Well, first of all, you have to start going to school.

Another child asked a question many have asked before…

-Have you seen aliens?
I've been waiting for this question. Let me ask you a question: How do you imagine aliens?
-Green.
Why green? Why do they have to be green?
-That I don't know.

This was not the first time the children had spoken with Villadei. He had video called them during a space mission and told them he would visit them when he returned. And he kept his promise.

COLONEL WALTER VILLADEI
Italian soldier and astronaut

I talked to them from the station without having the joy of seeing their eyes. But talking to them this morning, I was able to see their wonder of seeing what an astronaut back from space is like.
Every moment with the children is unique. They ask seemingly simple questions but with that naiveté and spontaneity that really stumps you a little bit. For example, the simplest joke: but how do astronauts pee? But how do astronauts sleep?

The Pope's pediatric hospital is collaborating on a research project with the Italian Space Agency. Its goal is to develop a precautionary model to analyze the health of astronauts during their long space exploration missions.

DR. ANDREA MASOTTI
Doctor

This project also has important applications in the pediatric field, as this type of study will also serve to better understand some degenerative processes not only in adult diseases, but also in children.

Villadei and the members of the army who accompanied him did not leave the meeting with the children empty-handed. They were given drawings of how the children imagine space and recounting their dreams of being potentially the next astronauts in space.

CA
TR: KG

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