- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 5, 2003

TEL AVIV, Israel, Feb. 5 (UPI) — NASA has identified the remains of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, an Israel Defense Forces spokeswoman reported Wednesday.

Ramon, the first Israeli to fly into space, was killed Saturday when the shuttle Columbia broke apart just before it was to land. A total of seven astronauts died in the mishap.

In a brief statement, the IDF spokeswoman said NASA made the identification, informed the Israeli authorities and Ramon's family. Israel has sent a military army chaplain to the United States.

Ramon will be buried in Israel and the necessary arrangements will be made in a few days, the spokeswoman said.

Ramon was an F-16 pilot who took part in the attack on the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981. He was the last in a row of eight planes that destroyed the reactor that was under construction. On Columbia he conducted scientific tests.

Ramon was born in June 1954. His wife Rona and four children are in Houston, where NASA on Tuesday conducted a memorial service for the astronauts.


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