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Argentine Icons: Pope Francis Gets Signed Lionel Messi Jersey



VATICAN CITY - Argentina happens to be blessed right now with the world's greatest active soccer player and the current Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church. On Wednesday, the two Argentine icons got a bit closer when Pope Francis was presented with the No. 10 Barcelona jersey of Argentine striker Lionel Messi.

Spain's news agency EFE writes that at Wednesday's general audience in St. Peter's Square, Spanish-born Vatican official Miguel Delgado Galindo handed Francis a signed Messi jersey from his club team FC Barcelona.

Screengrab from CTV

Along with his Barcelona teammates, Messi has spoken of his wish to meet his compatriot Pope Francis. In a letter published by El Mundo Deportivo, and signed by Messi, the president of the team invited Pope Francis to come and watch a match at their Camp Nou stadium.

On Monday, Pope Francis met with Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy who presented the pontiff with the jersey of Spain's national team, winner of the both the 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship.

According to Clarin, they discussed, among other things, the Clericus Cup -- the Vatican’s Soccer tournament.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gave Pope Francis a signed Spain shirt on his trip to the Vatican twitter.com/FootieGossMan/…

Football Gossip Man(@FootieGossMan) April 16, 2013

It’s a well known fact that humble Francis has been a long-time supporter of the long-struggling San Lorenzo de Almagro team in Buenos Aires, which honored him by placing his picture on a commemorative jersey for the team last month, writes Italian sports site Calcio Mercato.

San Lorenzo De Almagro

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Life On "Mars": With The Teams Simulating Space Missions Under A Dome

A niche research community plays out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another planet.

Photo of a person in a space suit walking toward the ​Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

At the Mars Desert Research Station near Hanksville, Utah

Sarah Scoles

In November 2022, Tara Sweeney’s plane landed on Thwaites Glacier, a 74,000-square-mile mass of frozen water in West Antarctica. She arrived with an international research team to study the glacier’s geology and ice fabric, and how its ice melt might contribute to sea level rise. But while near Earth’s southernmost point, Sweeney kept thinking about the moon.

“It felt every bit of what I think it will feel like being a space explorer,” said Sweeney, a former Air Force officer who’s now working on a doctorate in lunar geology at the University of Texas at El Paso. “You have all of these resources, and you get to be the one to go out and do the exploring and do the science. And that was really spectacular.”

That similarity is why space scientists study the physiology and psychology of people living in Antarctic and other remote outposts: For around 25 years, people have played out what existence might be like on, or en route to, another world. Polar explorers are, in a way, analogous to astronauts who land on alien planets. And while Sweeney wasn’t technically on an “analog astronaut” mission — her primary objective being the geological exploration of Earth — her days played out much the same as a space explorer’s might.

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