Israel, NASA upgrade cooperation

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

Israel and America's National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) signed a memorandum of understanding in Washington last week that will significantly upgrade cooperation between the Israeli and US space agencies in the coming years.

The agreement will see NASA and the Israel Space Agency (ISA) work more closely together on new projects dealing with, among other things, earth, space and life sciences.

NASA is said to be particularly interested in integrating Israeli satellite technology into its efforts to map the planet Venus. Israel is a world leader in lightweight satellite technology.

Israeli Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz said the subject of sending another Israeli astronaut into space aboard a NASA spacecraft was also touched on, though the timing is unclear considering NASA's current suspension of manned space missions.

Israel's first astronaut, Ilan Ramon, died when the Space Shuttle Columbia broke up and disintegrated upon reentry in 2003.

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