• Wed. Nov 29th, 2023

Eytan Stibbe Celebrated for Being the First Israeli to Visit the International Space Station

Apr 11, 2022

Eytan Stibbe, the second astronaut from the State of Israel, ended up making history just recently when he set foot on the International Space Station (ISS). Thus, he became the first citizen of the Jewish state to do so. Stibbe blasted off into space just a day earlier while onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. His flight had been a part of Ax-1, the Axiom mission 1. This was revealed to be the first-ever private mission to space, which had the astronaut docked on the ISS around 21 hours later. He arrived at the station at around 8:30 am EST. The Rakia mission was led by Axiom Space, a start-up based in Houston, which joined hands with NASA and SpaceX. This was deemed to be a historic moment for space travel, as well as science. 

There are several other private space ventures, such as Blue Origin by Jeff Bezos and Virgin Galactic by Richard Bramson, which focus primarily on space tourism. On the other hand, the Ax-1 mission is focused heavily on science and is the first mission to send a crew comprising of all civilians up to the ISS. The aim of the mission is mainly to utilize its designed purpose, which is an orbital laboratory. Various companies, especially those directly involved in Ax-1 are viewing this mission as an important step in bringing about an expansion in commercial activity in outer space. It has further been revealed that a large number of scientific experiments will be conducted throughout the time duration of the mission. Stibbe alone will be carrying out no less than 35 different experiments for his country. 

These will cover a substantial number of fields of study, which includes observing scientific phenomena, demonstrating or testing the viability of a handful of technologies, and studying specific mechanisms of hypothesized concepts. One important experiment will include running groundbreaking tests on agriculture and food. Where the Jewish state is concerned, the mission carries additional significance. Stibbe, who is 64 years old, is a well-known and successful businessman, as well as a noted philanthropist. He has also served in the military as a fighter pilot, which earned him the rank of colonel. Back when the astronaut was in service, he worked alongside Ilan Ramon, who went on to become the first astronaut from the State of Israel at the time of the STS-107 mission. 

However, Ramon and all the other people present on board tragically lost their lives when the Columbian space shuttle entered earth back in 2003. Thus, the Ramon Foundation was set up in his honor, which hopes to aid space ventures and entrepreneurs in the country establish a working network for the space industry in the country. The Ramon Foundation is a major force in the space sector of the Jewish state and routinely joins hands with the Israeli Space Agency. It also holds the Ilan Ramon Conference every year. It was the foundation and the Science and Technology Ministry that worked together to launch the Rakia Mission in the first place. 

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