Columbia was destroyed on Feb. 1, 2003, during its return to Earth, because of a hole in its wing that allowed in super-hot atmospheric gases. From left, front row: commander Rick Husband, Kalpana Chawla, pilot William McCool. Back row: David Brown, Laurel Clark, Michael Anderson and Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon. Posted February 1, 2013
Colonel Ilan Ramon was an Israeli Air Force combat pilot and the first Israeli astronaut to take part in a space mission, the fatal Space Shuttle Columbia mission. Colonel Ramon accumulated over 3,000 flight hours on the A-4, Mirage III-C, and F-4, and over 1,000 flight hours on the F-16. Ramon's journey into space occurred as Israelis continued to suffer through a horrendous period of violence and helped lift the nation's spirits. Ramon was a national hero and a symbol of hope.
This day in History: June 20, 1954- Ilan Ramon, an Israeli fighter pilot in the IDF and the first Israeli astronaut, was born. On February 1, 2003 , Ramon and six other Columbia's crew members were killed in the re-entry accident.
Columbia astronauts: From the left [bottom row], wearing red shirts to signify their shift’s color, are astronauts Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist; Rick D. Husband, mission commander; Laurel B. Clark, mission specialist; and Ilan Ramon, payload specialist. From the left [top row], wearing blue shirts, are astronauts David M. Brown, mission specialist; William C. McCool, pilot; and Michael P. Anderson, payload commander. IMAGE (AP Photo) (AP Photo) 2-1-13