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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Video: Modern Day Miracle? Israeli Astronaut's Diary Survives Columbia Tragedy

(Hat Tip: IsRealli)

Ilan Ramon, an Israeli astronaut who was blessed to see the stars above Earth's atmosphere before tragically perishing in the Columbia Shuttle disaster was somehow survived--without scientific explanation--by his thoughts on paper which his family is now displaying towards the world.

(New York Times) A little over two months after the shuttle explosion, NASA searchers found 37 pages from Ramon's diary, wet and crumpled, in a field just outside the U.S. town of Palestine, Texas. The diary survived extreme heat in the explosion, extreme atmospheric cold, and then ''was attacked by microorganisms and insects'' in the field where it fell, said museum curator Yigal Zalmona.

"It's almost a miracle that it survived -- it's incredible," Zalmona said. There is "no rational explanation" for how it was recovered when most of the shuttle was not, he said. [...]

The U.S. space agency returned the diary to Ramon's wife, Rona, who brought it to forensics experts at the Israel Museum and from the Israeli police. The diary took about a year to restore, Zalmona said, and it took police scientists about four more years to decipher the pages. About 80 percent of the text has been deciphered, and the rest remains unreadable, he said.

Even though only a few pages will be displayed, it is good for the public to remember Ramon's thoughts while he was alive, and to celebrate the holy land's first Israeli astronaut into space.

Note: Hopefully his legacy will inspire others to follow in his foot steps, as it would be good to see Israel develop its own manned space program.

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