Mitpe Ramon 370.
(photo credit: Arie Robinson)
The Mitzpe Ramon Local Council and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority will
dedicate a visitor center in memory of astronaut Ilan Ramon on
In addition to serving as a portal for educating visitors about
the Mitzpe Ramon site, the center will honor the legacy of Ramon, displaying his
diaries, his space suit and other relics from the shuttle, the local council
The first Israeli astronaut, Ramon was killed during the reentry
accident of the Columbia mission in 2003, during which the six other crew
members also died.
The center will house the story of Ramon from the
onset of his Israel Air Force service to the launch of his space shuttle to his
last moments. While telling the story of Ramon himself, the exhibit also
includes a large model of the space shuttle, in an effort to evoke the sense of
readiness for the mission that Ramon underwent, the INPA said. An additional
corner will be dedicated to Ramon’s son Asaf, who died in 2009 during a training
accident while piloting his F- 16A.
Among the speakers at the inaugural
event at noon on Thursday will be Ramon’s widow, Rona, Mitzpe Ramon Mayor Flora
Shoshan and INPA Executive Director Shaul Goldstein.
“This is a historic
moment in history for Mitzpe Ramon,” Shoshan said.
The visitor center
will be situated on the edge of the Ramon crater, on the outskirts of the Mitzpe
Ramon community, the INPA explained.
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Overlooking the expansive landscape,
the center will also serve as an entrance hall to the crater. The center will
equip the visitors with extensive information about the area and the unique
phenomenon that is the crater, as well as updated details about hiker etiquette
required in nature, the INPA explained.
Part of the visitor center is
carved out of the crater’s natural surface, the authority noted.
through the exposed rock walls evokes the feeling of power both of the natural
rock and of the man made work integrated together here,” the INPA said.
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