Shalom Life | October 17, 2015

Israel Looks To Send 2nd Astronaut Into Space

The Israel Space Agency is currently engaged in preliminary talks with U.S., European, Russian, and Chinese space agencies with the hopes of sending an Israeli astronaut to the International Space Station

By: Daniel Koren

Published: January 22nd, 2014 in News » World

The Israel Space Agency has announced its plans to send an Israeli astronaut into space.

Currently engaged in preliminary talks with U.S., European, Russian, and Chinese space agencies, Israel is hoping an Israeli astronaut can be en route to the International Space Station within the next two years.

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

It's been almost eleven years since the first ever Israeli astronaut was sent into space, whose life was met with a tragic end during the Columbia shuttle disaster. Since Colonel Ilan Ramon died in February 2003, Israel has been wary of sending another astronaut into space.

However, according to Ben-Yisrael, that time has finally come, saying that there are several candidates who would be interested in becoming the 2nd Israeli astronaut to go into space. Naturally, the potential candidates would have to undergo a series of training sessions and seminars in order to prepare.

According to Walla, the ISA has been in talks with other space agencies regarding this matter since last year's 64th International Astronautical Congress in Beijing. Of course, matters of who, how (notably, funding), and when still have to be worked out, with Chinese, Russian, American and European space agencies having purchased all seats on each vehicle departing for the International Space Station for the next two years.

The ISA's announcement comes on the heels of Israel Space Week, which takes place from Jan. 26 - Feb. 1, in honour of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon.

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