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Lifetime Achievement Award to Prof. Yitzhak Ben Israel

Prof. Ben Israel received a certificate of appreciation from the Israel Space Agency and the Ministry of Science during the Ilan Ramon conference. At the same time, the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) announced that next year it will award the Distinguished Service Award to Prof. Yitzhak Ben Israel, former Chairman of the Israel Space Agency, for his great contribution to astronautics and the promotion of the Federation

Recognition to Yitzchak Ben Israel for his many years of work Credit_Oz Schechter, L.A.M
Tribute to Yitzchak Ben Israel for his many years of work Credit_Oz Shechter, L.A.M

The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) has announced that next year it will award the Distinguished Service Award to Prof. Yitzhak Ben Israel, former chairman of the Israel Space Agency, for his great contribution to astronautics and the advancement of the Federation.

As part of the conference, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Ofir Akunis, the Chairman of the Israel Space Agency, Dan Bloomberg and the Director of the Israel Space Agency, Uri Oron presented him with a certificate of appreciation for his many years of work to promote Israeli space activities.

"When I started my career as chairman of the Israel Space Agency, there was no funding for civilian space. In the 17 years of activity, the agency has become a body with a significant budget that influences the development of civilian space in Israel. We had to work hard to get budgets of hundreds of millions of shekels a year." This is what Ben Israel said, adding: "Although the award is given in my name, I do not stand alone behind the achievements represented in it. The achievements are shared by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, the Space Agency and the Israeli space industry as a whole. And therefore I see all of you as partners in the assessment I received."

The 19th Ilan Ramon International Space Conference was signed yesterday (Wednesday) at the Air Force Base in Herzliya after it was hosted by, among others, the head of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), Prof. Teodoro Valente, the chief scientist of NASA Ames, Mr. Jacob Cohen and the CEO of the International Astronautical Federation, Christian Feichtinger.

The International Space Conference is the largest professional meeting in Israel dealing with space issues attended by senior Israeli and international space industry representatives as well as representatives of foreign space agencies. In the shadow of the war, this year the conference opened with a minute's silence in memory of the 1,300 murdered from the war, and empty chairs were placed in the first rows, awaiting the return of those kidnapped and missing since October 7.

Minister Akunis said: "At this time when we are all facing cruel enemies, Space Week was held as a sign of the challenges in the Israeli innovation industry - and within it the space industry. The tremendous demand for participation in the international conference as well as in the events open to the public for free are the proof of the victory of the creative and pioneering Israeli spirit at any time. We anticipate that the demand and investments in the Israeli space industry will increase significantly in the near future with Israel's victory in the war"

The president of the country, Yitzhak Herzog, sent a recorded greeting: "This year the 19th Ilan Ramon International Space Conference was held under the banner 'Together for the Technologies of the Future.' The strength of Israel's science and innovation rests on close cooperation between the countries to transfer knowledge and promote common goals. Collaborations in space with the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Morocco show the endless possibilities for business collaborations, and academic research essential to the development of the space field in Israel that are available to us when we collaborate and dream big."

Bill Nelson, head of NASA, sent a recorded greeting and said about his friend Ilan Ramon: "As the first Israeli astronaut, Ilan was a trailblazer and his legacy will continue to inspire future generations of space explorers. Israel is at the cutting edge of technology and innovation and these will expand knowledge in the field of space for humanity. NASA is excited to partner with Israel in the field of ULTRASAT (artificial satellite), the first telescope work of the Israeli space agency that will reveal new science about our solar systems."

The conference was concluded with an announcement in which the Rakei mission and the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology in cooperation with the Innovation Authority, the Association of Manufacturers, the Export Institute, the Israel Aerospace Industries and the Earth And Beyond greenhouse announced that for the first time they are establishing An Israeli space forum that will consist of space companies, startups, entrepreneurs and investors in the field.

The purpose of the forum is to strengthen and develop the Israeli space industry, to support entrepreneurial activity in the field of space, and to reduce knowledge gaps and barriers compared to what is happening in the space markets in the world. The forum offers a platform where companies, startups and entrepreneurs can interface with investors, government bodies, academies and representatives from the local and global space industry.

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