The Science and Technology Ministry is looking seriously into the option of
training another Israeli to become an astronaut in the tradition of the late
Col. Ilan Ramon, who died in space on the US Columbia space shuttle exactly a
The Israel Space Agency is making informal contacts with
international space authorities on the matter. Although the US National
Aeronautics and Space Administration has halted the dispatching of manned space
shuttles into space, it may be than an Israeli trained by NASA could be sent to
work at the International Space Station in a few years, the ministry said on
Meanwhile, Israel has been invited to join the UN Committee on
Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS); it previously had only observer status on
the committee, which is the central international body that deals with space
In a meeting between members of the ISA, the invitation was
extended by Dr. Mazlan Othman, head of COPUOS.
said they are interested in expanding the country’s involvement in such space
activities and will consider joining as a member.
suggested to Othman that they put a model of an Israeli satellite on display at
COPUOS’s permanent exhibition in Vienna. The exhibition contains models of
various space vehicles and other memorabilia from numerous countries involved in
space exploration. Among these is a statue of Yuri Gargarin, the world’s first
astronaut who was sent into space by the former Soviet Union, and a stone
brought back from space. So far, Israel – which is a major world leader in the
development of satellites – has had no representative object on display
More than a dozen senior space administrators and scientists from
around the world have been in Herzliya over the past few days to attend an
annual conference in memory of Ramon, who died in space exactly a decade
Science and Technology Ministry director-general Menahem Greenblum
and European Commission deputy director-general for industrial initiatives Dr.
Paul Weissberg signed an agreement that opens the door for cooperation between
Israel and the EC in the field of space. The agreement, according to the
ministry, will open up various cooperation activities with Europe and give
legitimacy to Israeli industrialists and researchers to be involved in European
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