Israel’s first astronaut, Israeli Air Force Col. Ilan Ramon, kept kosher and observed Shabbat

The space shuttle Columbia launches from the Kennedy Space Center with Israel’s first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, among the crew of seven. Unknown at the time is that a piece of foam breaks off the shuttle’s external tank during the launch and damages a wing. As a result, Columbia disintegrates on re-entry Feb. 1, killing all seven crew members.

Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education (, where you can find more details.