Synopsis by Nathan Southern
The biographical documentary The First Israeli in Space tells the sad story of Col. Ilan Ramon, who became the first individual of his country to go into orbit, but lost his life in the Columbia shuttle explosion on February 1, 2003. Working for Israel's public television network, filmmaker Neil Weisbrod and a team of cameramen sensed that Ramon would make Israeli (and world) history when he began his journey on the road to NASA; they thus followed him from the beginning, capturing early footage of his flights as an Israeli Air Force colonel through his training for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in Houston, and concluding with his tragic final mission, flight STS-107 -- the shuttle that exploded over Texas, bringing the life of Ramon, and six other astronauts, to a heartbreaking end. Weisbrod and his associates cut the footage into a 70-minute documentary as a memorial to Ramon and everything he came to represent for Israel.
astronaut, courage, fighter-pilot, Israeli [nationality], NASA, space-disaster, space-shuttle