Diary That Survived Shuttle Blast Goes on Display

Pages written by Israel's first astronaut survived 37-mile fall from space
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2008 7:21 AM CDT
A curator at the Israel Museum displays pages from the diary of Ilan Ramon, an Israeli astronaut who died in the fatal mission of space shuttle Columbia, in Jerusalem, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2008.    (AP Photo/Rachael Strecher)
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(Newser) – Pages from the diary of an Israeli astronaut who perished with the space shuttle Columbia  go on display tomorrow at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the AP reports. Ilan Ramon's diary was found in a field 2 months after the crash. It had fallen 37 miles to earth when the shuttle disintegrated. The museum's curator says its survival defies rational explanation.

"It's almost a miracle that it survived, he tells AP. "It's incredible." One of the pages contains the Kiddush prayer, which Ramon copied into his diary to recite on the shuttle and have the blessing sent to Earth. There is no indication in the diary that Ramon was aware of any problems with the shuttle, which disintegrated 16 minutes before it was due to land in Florida, killing all seven astronauts on board.