Ilan Ramon was a hero in every sense of the word. As a bold fighter pilot, Air Force colonel in the Israeli army, and payload specialist on the Space Shuttle Columbia, he was a role model for many young Israelis.
As Israel’s first astronaut, he captured the hearts of Jews all around the world and was a national hero and a symbol of hope. Ramon’s journey into space occurred as Israelis continued to suffer through a horrendous period of violence, and it helped lift the nation’s spirits. For 16 exciting days, Ramon managed to bring a bit of Jewish culture, tradition, and history to the millions of people who followed the space mission. And then tragedy struck: on February 1, 2003 the Space Shuttle Columbia and all seven brave astronauts were destroyed during re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, “The day will come when we will launch more Israeli astronauts into space. I am sure that each and every one of them will carry in his heart the memory of Ilan Ramon, a pioneer in space travel.”
Young readers will be captivated by this biography – with its rich portrait of Ramon in words and photographs — it celebrates the life of an extraordinary man and pays tribute to his enormous courage.
In this inspirational biography about Israel's first astronaut, author portrays the life of a national hero who brought a sense of hope to his country during the two-week, ill-fated voyage of the space shuttle Columbia. Young readers will be captivated by the dramatic story of this courageous combat pilot, astronaut, devoted husband, and father who came to proudly represent his country and his heritage on a space mission watched around the world. By Devra Newberger Sperger