JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Eytan Stibbe will be only the second Israeli to go to outer space. The former Israeli fighter pilot, who shot down four Syrian planes during the first Lebanon war, served under the first Israeli astronaut, Ilan Ramon, and was among those who founded the Ramon Foundation in memory of Ilan Ramon, who died returning from outer space, and his son Asaf Ramon, who died in a fighter jet accident in Israel.Click to get Text Message Updates right to your phone
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Despite this, Stibbe has agreed to go himself to outer space and unlike Ramon, he is willing to pay for the pleasure. Stibbe signed a contract last year with Axiom Space to fly a ten day mission to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on SpaceX Axiom Space-1, a private crewed orbital spaceflight. Stibbe’s ticket cost him an estimated 55 million dollars. The mission is slated to take off in January 2022.
The bulk of Eytan’s time during this mission will be dedicated to conducting educational experiments in space. The experiments are based on suggestions by high school students, who are part of the Ramon Foundation program which encourages scientific projects on innovative matters related to cosmology, astrophysics, optics, medicine and engineering.
A number of commercial companies will also be experimenting with their technologies in space. On Tuesday the 44 experiments which Stibbe will conduct in space were announced, including one from Myndlift, a company founded by Israeli Arab entrepreneur Aziz Kaddan from Baqa al-Gharbiya which has developed an app-based neuro-feedback system for drug-free ADHD treatment. Kaddan, who started his company in Boston but has since returned to Tel Aviv, wants to monitor Stibbe’s brain reactions under the pressures of outer space and to ascertain whether his reactions will improve based on their system.
Other experiments will include testing a new Lithium battery developed by the electric company Storedot under space conditions, and another experiment will test whether Houmous can be grown in space conditions in order to use synthetic biology and optogenetics to affect the internal aspects of the plant using light.