Israel to send astronaut to ISS in 2021

James Marshall
November 18, 2020

Now a colonel in the IAF reserves, and a grandfather, Stibbe founded Vital Capital Fund and has focused on impact investing in developing countries for the past 35 years.

An Israeli astronaut will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) next year, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said on Monday. He'll become one of the oldest people to travel to space. Receiving his pilot wings in 1978, Stibbe flew under Ramon's command in the 117 F-16 squadron.

The 2021 mission is slated to last for 200 hours, which Stibbe is meant to use to conduct a series of experiments intended to advance Israeli technologies and scientific developments by researchers and startups, according to the ISA.

On that day, U.S. space shuttle Columbia disintegrated as it was reentering the atmosphere following a mission to the ISS. About three months before the flight, he will begin a series of intensive training in the United States, Germany, and Russian Federation.

The ISS mission that he'll participate in is the first to be manned entirely by private astronauts.

The worldwide mission was initiated and led by Axiom Space, an American privately funded aerospace manufacturer and orbital spaceflight services company headquartered in Houston, Texas. Michael Lopez-Alegria will serve as mission commander.

Ilan Ramon the Israeli astronaut killed during the failed re-entry of the Space Shuttle Columbia
Ilan Ramon the Israeli astronaut killed during the failed re-entry of the Space Shuttle Columbia

The announcement was made at a press conference by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Ran Livne, director-general of the Ramon Foundation, a non-profit group that will coordinate the mission.

Turning to Eitan, he said he will "be Israel's representative in the human effort to understand the miraculous mechanism that enables life on this globe, and to crack the secrets of the universe".

"Today, you become the messenger of us all".

"We give you our blessings for the way and wish you great success". Go in peace and return in peace, and do not forget to wave to us from up there. "We are waiting for you at home", he said. "I hope that our mission to space will open new channels of cooperation, peace and belief in our ability to look after our attractive planet for future generations". His friend and predecessor, Ilan Ramon, was killed during the ill-fated US Columbia mission in 2003.

The Middle East is seen from 250 miles above in this April 14, 2016 photo from the International Space Station.

Content by Aryeh Savir/TPS was used in this report.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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