(TPS) Eytan Stibbe, a former Israeli Air Force fighter pilot, will take part in a national, historical and scientific mission to space that will be launched at the end of 2021, becoming the second astronaut in the Jewish state’s history. Stibbe, 66, is an IAF Colonel who served for 43 years and participated in dozens of operations.
Stibbe is expected to take off from Florida for the International Space Station in December 2021. He will be at the station for 200 hours, during which he will conduct a series of unprecedented experiments with Israeli technologies and scientific developments that he will take with him into space, and is also expected to hold activities to make the space world accessible to Israeli children.
In the coming months, he will begin his training for space travel, with a concentrated training series in the United States, Germany and Russia in the three months prior to takeoff.
Upon arrival in space, the spacecraft will dock at the International Space Station (ISS) subject to NASA approval.
“This is a day of national joy and tremendous pride,” Rivlin declared, saying that “not every day do we announce an Israeli astronaut going into space.”
Stibbe expressed hope that his journey will develop “new channels for cooperation, peace and faith in our ability to maintain our beautiful planet, for the benefit of future generations.”