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Ilan Ramon - The First Israeli Astronaut

Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut
Ilan Ramon the first Israeli astronaut
אילן רמון, האסטרונאוט הישראלי הראשון

Columbia STS-107 crew
Columbia STS-107 crew:
Mission Specialist David Brown,
Commander Rick Husband,
Mission Specialists
Laurel Clark,
Kalpana Chawla and
Michael Anderson,
Pilot William McCool and
Payload Specialist Ilan Ramon.

Ilan Ramon was the first Israeli astronaut on the Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-107) that was launched on January 16, 2003. The seven astronauts died on February 1, 2003, when Columbia broke apart during reentry into the atmosphere over Texas on its way to Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Brief biography and mission tasks
(from the Official NASA press release)

Ilan Ramon, 48, a colonel in the Israeli Air Force, is a fighter pilot who will be the only payload specialist on STS-107. Ramon received a bachelor of science in electronics and computer engineering from the University of Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1987. Ramon, as a member of the Red Team, will be the prime crew member for the Mediterranean Israeli Dust Experiment (MEIDEX), a multispectral camera that will measure small dust particles (dust aerosols) in the atmosphere over the Mediterranean and the Saharan coast of the Atlantic. He will also be working with the following experiments: European Space Agency Advanced Respiratory Monitoring System (ARMS); Astroculture (AST-1 and 2); Biological Research in Canister -Development of Gravity Sensitive Plant Cells in Microgravity (BRIC); Combustion Module (CM-2), which includes the Laminar Soot Processes (LSP), Water Mist Fire Suppression (MIST) and Structures of Flame Balls at Low Lewis-number (SOFBALL) experiments; the Microbial Physiology Flight Experiments Team (MPFE) experiments, which include the Effects of Microgravity on Microbial Physiology and Spaceflight Effects on Fungal Growth, Metabolism and Sensitivity to Anti-fungal Drugs; the Physiology and Biochemistry Team (PhAB4) suite of experiments, which includes Calcium Kinetics, Latent Virus Shedding, Protein Turnover and Renal Stone Risk; and Space Technology and Research Students Bootes (STARS Bootes).