NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Astronaut Ilan Ramon, a victim of the 1st February 2003 disaster in which the space shuttle Columbia exploded on re-entry, killing the seven astronauts on board. Ramon, who became the first Israeli in space on this mission, was the payload specialist. This mission (STS-107) lifted off on 16th January 2003, and was designed to carry out scientific experiments. Columbia was around 65 kilometres up and travelling at 20,000 kilometres per hour when it exploded. Debris was scattered over a wide area of the southern USA, mostly in the states of Texas and Louisiana. It is thought a heat shield failure may have led to the explosion. Photographed in 2001.
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