Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first astronaut, was a member of the Columbia space shuttle crew that died in 2003 when the Columbia disintegrated during its return to earth. In addition to many other achievements and exploits, Ramon was one of the IAF fighter pilots who attacked the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. (See the HISTORY section of the website.) As if the death of Ilan wasn’t enough tragedy for the Ramon family to bear, his eldest son, Assaf, died at age 21 during a routine training flight while piloting his F-16A. The accident took place three months after he graduated from the IAF flight school as the top cadet in his class.
Quotes: “The world looks marvelous from up here, so peaceful, so wonderful and so fragile. Everybody, all of us down there, not only in Israel, have to keep it clean and good.” | “The quiet that envelops space makes the beauty even more powerful, and I only hope that the quiet can one day spread to my country.”
Sources: Wikipedia, AZ Quotes
Learn more about Ilan Ramon on Wikipedia. >>
Watch “Col. Ilan Ramon’s last TV interview — Jewish Sparks TV” [7:47]. >>
Watch “Ilan Ramon Tribute Video” [4:09]. >>
Photo: Times of Israel