Ilan Ramons space diary found

jerusalem (jps) | The Israeli newspaper Yediot Achronot disclosed that some months ago, sections of Ilan Ramon’s personal diary — handwritten in Hebrew — during his last days on the ill-fated space shuttle were recovered in Texas by a Native American tracker. The pieces of paper had somehow survived 1,800-degree heat during the explosion that occurred in the upper atmosphere.

Neither the Indian nor the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration could understand the Hebrew writing, so NASA sent the pages to Rona Ramon, Ilan’s widow, who was still in Houston. She immediately identified it as her husband’s writing.

In his notes, Ramon expresses his excitement and feeling of good fortune to be aboard the spacecraft and to enjoy views of the Earth and the “thin layer of atmosphere.”

Since part of the text was destroyed and the pages were full of holes, Ramon’s widow sent the diary to the criminal investigation unit of the Israel Police, which used advanced optical scanners to fill in the lacunae. A film about the discovery will be presented in a special showing for the Ramon family in Herzliya.

Israeli publications also reported that the Ramon’s 16-year-old son Assaf hopes to be accepted for an air force pilot’s course.