Israel looking to send second astronaut into space


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israel Space Agency has contacted counterparts from other countries about sending an Israeli astronaut to the International Space Station.

The contacts with the U.S., European, Russian and Chinese space agencies reported by the Israeli media come 11 years after Israeli Col. Ilan Ramon died in the explosion of the Columbia space shuttle.

Spots at the space station are booked for the next two years, but it takes several years to train a new astronaut.

The Israel Space Agency will hold a Space Week next week to include a memorial for Ramon. Space-related events will be held throughout the country.

Israel has been chosen to host the 2015 International Astronautical Federation convention. Some 3,000 to 4,000 experts in space science and technology are expected to attend.

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