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January 22, 2014 7:58 am

Israel Exploring Possibility of Sending Astronaut to International Space Station

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The International Space Station. Photo: NASA/Crew of STS-132.

JNS.orgThe Israel Space Agency (ISA) is in preliminary talks with U.S., European, Russian, and Chinese space agencies to explore sending an Israeli astronaut to the International Space Station.

“All the flights to the space station are fully booked for at least two years,” Dr. Yitzhak Ben-Yisrael, head of the ISA, told the Jerusalem Post. “But if we want a second Israeli astronaut, we have to start talking now.”

The news that Israel is seeking to send another astronaut comes eleven years after the tragic death of Colonel Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli in space, in the Columbia shuttle disaster. Despite Ramon’s death, Ben-Yisrael believes that there will be many candidates interested in going to space, including air force pilots like Ramon or teachers, scientists, and other professions.

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