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Cooperation between NASA and the Israeli Space Agency

From the website of the Ministry of Science

The agreement between the Israeli space agency Salah and that of the USA - NASA was signed in October 1996 and includes cooperation in various aspects of space exploration. One of the projects is the Israeli focal point of a database for observations from space on Earth EOSDIS and another project is the Israeli astronaut and the MEIDEX experiment which will be launched on one of the future shuttle flights.

The EOSDIS information center
NASA's Regional Center for Earth Observations - EOSDIS is a joint project of the SLA, the Inter-University Computing Center and NASA and its goal is to create and maintain a database of Earth observations and make it available, via the Internet, to researchers and the general public in Israel and in the world

The Israeli astronaut project
On December 11, 1995, US President Bill Clinton and then Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres announced an agreement to cooperate in space-based experiments in the sustainable use of water and the quality of the environment and that as part of this effort, the US would train Israeli astronauts to participate in these programs.

Mediterranean Israeli Dust Experiment (MEIDEX)
As part of the cooperation agreement between the Israeli Space Agency (ISA) and the American Space Agency (NASA), it was agreed on a scientific experiment in space - "MEIDEX" - (MEIDEX) (MEDITERRANEAN EXPERIMENT ISRAEL DUST) which will be carried out by an Israeli astronaut from an American space shuttle .
The chosen experiment is designed to help in the study of global climate change (GLOBAL CHANGE), a topic that is at the forefront of atmospheric research in the world. The experiment, designed by a team of researchers from the Department of Geophysics and Planetary Sciences at Tel Aviv University, is planned to be carried out in 2002 from the space shuttle "Columbia" on flight number 107 - STS and will last 16 days.
During the experiment, the shuttle will circle the Earth at an altitude of 278 km every hour and a half, and will pass over the Mediterranean between 2 and 3 times a day during daylight hours.

To start the experiment in space, an air force pilot, Col. Ilan Ramon, was chosen as the first Israeli astronaut. During the passage in space above our regions, the Israeli astronaut will take photographs at several different wavelengths of aerosols (tiny particles that float in the atmosphere, and usually come from the deserts; a kind of dust storm), with a special camera adapted by the Israeli team of researchers. The aerosols come mainly from the Sahara desert to the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, and have a significant effect on global warming. This is why NASA invests a lot of effort in measuring them using Lavinia.
As part of the Israeli experiment, samples of the aerosols from the photographed clouds will also be collected, using an Israeli plane. The experiment will allow the calibration of NASA's measurements and will contribute to the improvement of the models of the passage of solar radiation in the atmosphere and to the prediction of climate change in the world. In addition to this, during the hours of darkness, the Israeli astronaut in space will follow a new phenomenon in the upper atmosphere, which was recently discovered during lightning storms, and which scientists call "elves"

The shuttle flight will also carry out an experiment that will combine middle school students from a number of schools from Israel. The intention of the experiment is to prove that physical phenomena known to us on Earth, such as the growth of crystals in a certain direction, behave differently in weightless conditions, conditions created in the space shuttle.
During the execution of the experiment, there will be a wide informational activity among the youth and the general public in order to present the scientific activity being carried out in the field of space in Israel and in the world.

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