I’ve been posting quite a bit of positive news from Israel lately; I hope nobody is getting bored. Anyway, here’s another story that will top the last one – the Israelis are now launching a fullscale space effort. They have had a space program for a while, but all it did was launch a few satellites and train a few astronauts, like the ill-fated Ilan Ramon. Now Israel’s space budget has just been increased from 10 million to 165 million shekels, so maybe they will soon have rockets capable of putting astronauts in orbit, rather than rely on the Europeans, Russians and NASA to launch anything besides satellites. For the whole story, check out this video.
I find this especially interesting because we retired our own space shuttle program last year, so the United States no longer has any manned rocket capability. Are the Israelis going to take our place up there?
This announcement reminds me of a science fiction novel by Poul Anderson, The High Crusade, which ends with a starship commanded by an Israeli meeting the descendants of some knights who captured an alien spacecraft a thousand years earlier, and conquered the empire that sent it. It also reminds me of the final scene from Mel Brooks’ “History of the World Part 1” (see the video below). Who’d have thought Mel was a prophet as well as a comedian and movie director?