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Shuttle Astronaut's Diary Survives Explosion
October 6, 2008

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In Fond Memory of Columbia

Even though none of the astronauts aboard Space Shuttle Columbia survived the explosion on Feb. 1, 2003, several pieces of paper did.

Those pieces of paper are pages from the diary of Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut, who was aboard Columbia when it disintegrated on re-entry. Search crews from the National Aeronautic and Space Administration found the pages from Ramon's diary in a field near Palestine, Texas, a few months after the shuttle explosion. NASA returned the pages to Ramon's wife, Rona, who took the diary pages to the Israel Museum for forensic analysis.

Rona Ramon later reported that most of the pages were, as expected, her husband's personal reflections. She has loaned the diary pages to the Israel Museum, which is displaying them as part of an exhibit on famous documents from the history of Israel, which in 2008 is celebrating its 60th anniversary as a modern country.


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