Israel wishes to renew its cooperation with the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in order to send a second Israeli astronaut into space, Israel Ambassador to the US Daniel Ayalon told “Globes” yesterday.
Ayalon will meet next week with NASA administrator Sean O’Keefe during a ceremony marking the anniversary of the crash of the Columbia space craft, in which Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, and the six other crew members were killed.
Ayalon will ask O’Keefe to continue Ramon’s mission, “Israel’s contribution to the study of outer space, as one of America’s partners in manned space flights.”
Ayalon added, “There is a good chance that another Israeli astronaut will fly in space in a space shuttle, or other spacecraft. I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that an Israeli astronaut will land on the moon, as part of US efforts to establish a permanent base there.”
Israel Defense and Armed Forces Attaché to the US Major-General Moshe Evry Sukenik will coordinate the preparations for the mission.
Published by Globes [online] - www.globes.co.il - on January 28, 2004