Colonel Ilan Ramon was an Israeli Air Force combat pilot and the first Israeli astronaut to take part in a space mission, the fatal Space Shuttle Columbia mission. Colonel Ramon accumulated over 3,000 flight hours on the A-4, Mirage III-C, and F-4, and over 1,000 flight hours on the F-16. Ramon's journey into space occurred as Israelis continued to suffer through a horrendous period of violence and helped lift the nation's spirits. Ramon was a national hero and a symbol of hope.
Remembering Columbia - On February 1, 2003, during re-entry, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over northern Texas with all seven crewmembers aboard. On the bottom row (L to R) are astronauts Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist; Rick D. Husband, mission commander; Laurel B. Clark, mission specialist; and Ilan Ramon, payload specialist. In the top row (L to R) are astronauts David M. Brown, mission specialist; William C. McCool, pilot; and Michael P. Anderson, payload commander.
On February 1st 14 years ago, the space shuttle #Columbia disintegrated in the skies over Texas, killing all seven crew members, including Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, just 16 minutes before its scheduled landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. We remember Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, with great pride. May his memory, along with the six crew members of the Columbia who perished in the disaster be blessed. https://youtu.be/az6zbQ-5uUA