Pope Francis connected with astronauts aboard the International Space Station Oct. 26. It was a “wish upon a star” that came true for Catholic astronaut Mark Vande Hei, a native of Falls Church, Virginia, according to a related Catholic News Service article.

Occasional calls with celebrities keep the spirits high of the astronauts on mission. Vande Hei  requested the papal call.

Highlights from related story

It was a 20-minute link-up in which Pope Francis asked five questions… one astronaut has an olive branch on board he received from Pope Francis

The astronauts are Catholic (3), Russian Orthodox (2) and Baptist (1)… one astronaut’s father built Sputnik

Unity among diversity is key, one astronaut said… with Pope Francis likening them to a tiny United Nations

One perk in space is the daily opportunity to see “God’s creation maybe a little bit from his perspective”

Pope Benedict XVI spoke with 12 astronauts in 2011… including one who is on board today

Consider also reading, “For Catholic astronauts, flying to space doesn’t mean giving up faith

And perhaps consider listening to “Houston, We Have a Podcast.” The Oct. 13 episode discusses astronaut photography and was also livestreamed on Facebook. Transcript is included for the hearing impaired.