Itongadol.- The guest of honor at the Space Festival in Haifa will be the Almaz spacecraft—part of the former USSR\’s space program—that will come to Madatech, Israel’s National Museum of Science, Technology, and Space. Its display will be part of a museum program to promote entrepreneurship and education for space exploration amongst youths and students.
The spacecraft, which belongs today to the private space tourism company Excalibur Almaz, was sent out of the atmosphere twice, first
in 1977. In the course of a few years, she is intended to carry out civilian-commercial space flights, though she will remain in the Haifa museum until the end of the year.
The Almaz\’s journey to Israel, in an El Al transit plane, is part of a larger project intended to encourage educational activities surrounding space exploration and to call to youths and students to develop scientific and technological experiments that can be performed in low orbit. The project is a collaboration between the Heinlein Society (an international foundation that supports entrepreneurship to encourage civilian and commercial activity in space) and the Israeli Ramon Foundation.
Within two years, with this collaboration, select youths will be able to send their experiments into space on the Russian spacecraft.
The project will also bring to Israel the American astronaut Dr. Don Thomas; the widower of American astronaut Dr. Laurel Clark, who died in the Columbia disaster along with Ilan Ramon, and expert on medicine in space, Dr. John Clark; and the heads of Excalibur Almaz.