When the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated during its re-entry on Feb. 1, 2003, seven crew members were killed. Only bits and pieces of the shuttle were recovered, mostly in east Texas, near Palestine. The shuttle was only minutes from landing in Houston when it came apart.
One of the seven victims was Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut. In a field near Palestine, thirty-seven pages of his diary were found, crumpled and wet, two months after the explosion. It has taken four years to restore and decipher most of the diary.
Two pages of it will be displayed in the Israeli Museum, beginning tomorrow. The rest of it contains much personal information, and it will be kept private, according to the wishes of Ramon’s widow. The part to be displayed has a Jewish prayer, “a blessing over wine that Jews recite on the Sabbath . . . . Ramon copied the prayer into his diary so he could recite it on the space shuttle and have the blessing broadcast to Earth.”
Consider the miracle that thirty-seven pieces of paper survived being exposed to the extremes of heat and cold during re-entry to the earth’s atmosphere. And then, it’s another miracle it lasted two months out in a field without being hopelessly scattered by wind, eaten by insects, or dissolved by rain.
Read the story at this linked Yahoo news site: Astronaut’s Diary Goes on Display in Jerusalem.
The picture is from Wikipedia.