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    Israel Cooperates with World's Major Space Agencies

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    After years of working in cooperation with the American space agency NASA, Israel has recently signed a cooperation agreement with the European Space Agency – the ESA. Our reporter in Israel visited the Ilan Ramon Space Convention for this next report.

    Every year the Israeli Space Agency, in cooperation with the Fischer Institute of Space, holds a convention in memory of Ilan Ramon.

    Ramon was Israel's first astronaut. He was killed in the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster in 2003.

    This tragedy wherein Ramon - Israel’s representative in the multi-national team of astronauts - lost his life, happened on a cooperative mission between NASA and the Israeli Space Agency.

    In the framework of this year’s convention, the Israeli agency signed a cooperation agreement with the European Space Agency – ESA – which incorporates 18 states.

    [Jean Jacque Dordain, Director General, ESA]:
    "If there is one message that space has provided to Planet Earth, it’s that we have no individual future, we have a global future and we have to prepare this future together."

    NASA's Deputy Administrator referred to the Columbia catastrophe and to the Israel-US cooperation in the research of space.

    [Lori B. Garver, NASA Deputy Administrator]:
    "I came to honor the life of Ilan Ramon and the entire crew and mission of the Special TS107 mission. NASA and Israel have had a long steady partnership throughout our history. But the STS107 has bonded our nations' space program forever."

    Signing the contract with the ESA is opening many new possibilities for Israeli space research.

    Reporter:aviva grunpeter photographer:Anat Markram
    NTD News, Israel