In 2003, the space shuttle Columbia exploded upon reentry to the earth's atmosphere, killing all seven crew members aboard. One of those who perished was Israeli astronaut and pilot, Ilan Ramon. Israel Hayom's Ilan Gattegno reports that the Jewish state is honoring the late Ramon with an exhibit celebrating his amazing career:
The Columbia embarked on its 28th mission in space on Jan. 16, 2003. It disintegrated as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere on Feb. 1, 2003, killing all seven astronauts on board. A NASA investigation found that a piece of foam installation on the shuttle's external tank had broken off, compromising its structure and causing it to break apart as it re-entered the atmosphere.
The exhibition, "Objects Tell a Story," at the Air Force Auditorium in Herzliya, opened in honor of Israel Space Week. It documents Ramon's life and includes unique items, including the NASA helmet worn by Ramon when he trained to be the first Israeli astronaut in space, and the torn remnants of an Israel Air Force flag that survived the Columbia disaster.
Among the objects on display is a model of a mezuzah that accompanied him in space, a page from the journal he kept on the space shuttle, and journals from his various IAF missions, such as the Operation Opera in 1981, during which Israel destroyed a nuclear reactor in Iraq, and containers of kosher food that survived the Columbia disaster.
Some of the items are things Ramon had collected from plane crashes he survived, such as a clock from an Israeli Fouga jet that crashed during a training mission in the advanced stages of the IAF pilot training course, and the control stick from an F-16 that was involved in a training accident on Jan. 20, 1982...