Astronaut Eytan Stibbe makes first contact with ground control

Israel's second-ever astronaut who was launched into space on Friday made first contact with ground control, some 17 hours after takeoff.

"Hello everyone," he said in Hebrew. "We have already gotten used to zero-gravity and are beginning to operate comfortably and effectively," he said. "The launch was incredible. We are over Africa and in another 5-10 minutes will cross very close to Israel's shores. I think [later when] it will be nighttime I may see the coast, depending on the clouds," he said.

Stibbe is part of the private Axiom mission 1 (Ax-1) and headed to the International Space Station. He will also be carrying out a number of tests on Israel's behalf. This of the mission is codenamed Rakia.

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