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The new head of NASA Jim Bridenstine in Israel: Israel has capabilities that NASA can study

Bridenstine said these things during a press conference with Science Minister Ofir Akunis, who also spoke of "mutual interest in building technological capabilities in space exploration"

NASA head Jim Bridenstine (left) and science minister Ofir Akunis, at a press conference on the occasion of the signing of an agreement between Israel and NASA on cooperation in the field of space, 12/7/2018. Photo: Avi Blizovsky
NASA head Jim Bridenstine (left) and science minister Ofir Akunis, at a press conference on the occasion of the signing of an agreement between Israel and NASA on cooperation in the field of space, 12/7/2018. Photo: Avi Blizovsky

NASA and the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Science will expand their cooperation - this was agreed today in a joint statement. The statement was signed today in Jerusalem in the presence of Minister of Science and Technology Ofir Akunis, NASA head Jim Bridenstine, Israel Space Agency Chairman Prof. Yitzhak Ben Israel and Israel Space Agency Director of the Ministry of Science Avi Blasberger. The agreement was signed as part of Bridenstine's first visit to Israel.

Science Minister Ofir Akunis said during the press conference: "Our successful cooperation is based on the framework agreement between the Israel Space Agency and NASA that was signed here in Jerusalem in October 2015. Today we are expanding our cooperation to other fields, including the International Space Station, Earth exploration and evolution of the universe, life sciences, scientific education, and the use of nano satellites". "We also announced a scholarship program under which five outstanding students will be sent for a research period at NASA's Ames Center."

"The joint statement symbolizes a long tradition of cooperation between the US and Israel, and in particular the scientific and technological cooperation in the field of space." Aconis added. "During our meeting I also expressed my desire to send a second Israeli astronaut and NASA officials agreed to review the request and we expect him to be selected as part of the return to the moon according to the Trump policy." Akonis then mentioned the expected landing on the moon of the spacecraft developed by SPACEIL on March 13, 2019 on the moon. However, he did not respond To the criticism leveled by project financier Maurice Kahn, who said at the press conference on the occasion of the announcement of the expected landing, that the government was supposed to finance 10% of the project and so far has not done so."

NASA Director Jim Bridenstine, whose visit to Israel is his first visit outside the US since taking office about a month ago. "Israel brings a lot to the table and the US can benefit from that. Israel's ability to miniaturize electronics, the experience Israel has gained with small satellites and nanosatellites is particularly impressive, and NASA can learn from this. There are also tasks in the process in which Israel is involved. In the first launch of the SPACE LOUNCH SYSTEM, there will be one Israeli technology - a radiation protection suit for deep space developed by the Stemrad company. We have not flown into deep space (manned AB flights) since the Apollo program ended.

The head of NASA said that NASA has plans to return to the moon and stay on it in accordance with the vision of President Trump. Among other things, he said that NASA is looking into possibilities to build a type of spaceship that will come close to the moon and where astronauts will come to explore the moon. The corner will also serve as a gate from which they can go out into the deeper space. Bridenstine also said that it was not by chance that Israel was chosen as the destination of his first visit and that NASA has a great interest in Israeli technologies. "We are also excited to develop the next generation architecture for a flight to the moon. to be sustainable. We are returning to the moon to stay there and for that we will be required to use all the advantages of our international partners, to land on the lunar soil, as well as to make regular flights back and forth between low orbit around the Earth and low orbit around the moon. We will be happy to help Israel in all these capacities."

The Israeli Space Agency has several cooperation agreements with NASA, including an agreement to use a radiation protection suit developed by an Israeli company, in NASA's unmanned test flights to Mars, as well as a plan to send Israeli interns to NASA's Ames research center. NASA even mentioned the unique use they make of a cooling system made by Ein Harod as part of the mission of the "Curiosity" rover on Mars.

 More on the subject on the science website

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