Israel Looks to the Stars

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The Jewish state is bursting with pride as the latest spacecraft blasts off for the International Space Station. Onboard, Israel Hayom’s Dan Lavie tells us, are an Arab and a Jew — Jessica Meir is a Jewish-American astronaut with an Israeli father:

Israelis rejoiced on Wednesday as Jessica Meir, a 44-year-old Swedish-American born to an Israeli father, made it to space on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Meir, 44, may not be officially a citizen in Israel, but she is considered by many to be a representative of the Jewish state and the first Israeli woman to go beyond earth.

In 2003, Israeli Air Force officer Ilan Ramon became the first Israeli to reach space when he joined the crew of the Columbia Space Shuttle. That mission ended with tragedy as the spacecraft disintegrated on its re-entry and all crewmembers perished.

Just before the launch, she asked to take with her a painting of a phoenix created by Ramon’s late wife, Rona, who worked tirelessly to advance space education and keep the memory of her husband alive through a special foundation, until her passing several months ago.

“The painting I am taking with me represents the heritage Rona worked to promote and the inspiration she provided as an educator through The Ramon Foundation,” Meir said…

Tags: Dan Lavie Israel Israel Hayom Jessica Meir NASA Space United States

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