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Friday, January 17, 2003

First Israeli Astronaut a Blessing for Israel and for Mankind

Ilan Ramon, first Israeli astronaut.
Ilan Ramon, first Israeli astronaut.
Credit: NASA
In one of the most war-torn countries of the world, Israelis are smiling today. Ilan Ramon, the country's first astronaut, went into space yesterday aboard Space Shuttle Columbia. At a time when Palestinian uprising has made the country a continual war-zone, the Israeli people rejoice for their own "John Glenn." "I'm proud," a young Israeli boy said. "It shows that we can make progress despite all the terrorism and problems."

It has been called to my attention today by a fellow student that the world does not have room for space right now. With threats of a global war at hand and terrorism scares at home, it seems as if no one feels space is important anymore. Wasn't it important in the sixties that the United States beat the Russians to the moon? John F Kennedy thought so. Today we have no John F Kennedy.

Space is more important now than ever before. In the sixties, the technology to put a man on Mars didn't exist... we had to invent it! Today we have the technology to put a man on Mars, but we choose not to, not because it is hard, but because it is easy. The human race needs to put aside its differences and expand to the stars. We're too vulnerable on this little blue dot to war, disease, or asteroid impact. Going to Mars is not a panacea for the world's problems, but imagine the internationalism that would come from it. We would truly become one human race.

- posted by Alex @ 16:11 EST