VATICAN CITY (AP) -- International Space Station Commander Randy Bresnik has told Pope Francis that his greatest joy working on the orbiting lab is being able to "see God's creation maybe a little bit from his perspective."
Francis and Bresnik spoke on Thursday during a phone call between the Vatican and six crew members currently in the space station.
The pope asked the crew -- three Americans, two Russians and an Italian -- what gives them the most joy in their work.
Bresnik, a U.S. Marine who flew combat missions during the Iraq war, said what strikes him is that in space there are "no borders, there is no conflict, it's just peaceful."
The astronaut said: "People cannot come up here and see the indescribable beauty of our Earth and not be touched in their souls."
He added: "You see the thinness of the atmosphere, it makes you realize how fragile our existence here is."