October 4, 2008

Astronaut’s Diary That Fell to Earth

World in brief

JERUSALEM Pages from an Israeli astronaut's diary that survived the explosion of the space shuttle Columbia and a 37-mile fall to Earth are going on display this weekend for the first time. The diary belonged to Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut and one of seven crew members killed when Columbia disintegrated upon re- entering the atmosphere on 1 February 2003. Part of the restored diary will be displayed at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. Two months after the explosion, Nasa found 37 pages from Ramon's diary, wet and crumpled, in a field near the US town of Palestine, Texas. "It's almost a miracle it survived," museum curator Yigal Zalmona said. Two pages will be displayed. One contains Ramon's notes, the other is a copy of a Jewish prayer.

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