The Second Astronaut: Meet Ethan Steve

Colonel (Res.) Eitan Steve, was announced today (Monday) as the second astronaut in the history of the State of Israel. Steve is scheduled to take off into space at the end of 2021, and land at the International Space Station, where he will stay for about 200 hours.

Steve, born in 1958, was born in Haifa but grew up in Ramat Gan, where he attended Blich High School. In the summer of 1976, Steve enlisted in the Air Force pilot course, and served as a fighter pilot. Steve first served as a Skyhawk pilot in Squadrons 140 and 102. He later moved to the 201st Squadron, where he served as a Phantom pilot, and to the 117th Squadron, where he flew the F-16.

Eitan Steve, the second Israeli astronaut (Photo: without credit)

During the Galilee Peace War, also known as the First Lebanon War, Eitan Steve shot down five Syrian enemy planes. Four of them were shot down as part of a battle fought by 117th Squadron against Syrian Squadron. In doing so, Steve became the first pilot in the world to shoot down four planes in one takeoff. In July 2019, Eitan received the Masterpiece Certificate from the Air Force Commander.

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As part of his military service, he served under the command of the first Israeli astronaut, the late Ilan Ramon, and in 2010 was part of the founding nucleus of the Ramon Foundation, an organization founded by the late Rona Ramon, Ilan’s widow. Steva is a member of the association’s board of directors and accompanies its educational activities.

“A holiday for the Israeli space industry”

Following the election of Eitan Steve, Inbal Kreiss, chair of the Scientific Committee and Director of Innovation of the Aerospace Division of Aerospace Industries, spoke today with Anat Davidov on her program on 103FM. She also said that this is a “holiday for the Israeli start-up industry, science and news.”

What can be said about this venture that everyone is looking forward to, which by the way is private I understand correctly?
“True. Today is a holiday for the Israeli space industry, science and innovation, Eitan’s mission is to fly to the International Space Station, which is becoming more private in its activities, to conduct groundbreaking experiments by Israeli scientists and researchers and to do an educational mission for Israeli children.”

Eitan Steve (Photo: Aviv Hofi)

There are already experiments going on right now right? in which field?
“True. The International Space Station has been orbiting the Earth like a satellite for many years and there are always teams that are at the station and perform a wide range of experiments, and we in the Israeli space industry, I also have the position of innovation director in the Missile and Space Systems Division. , Can do experiments in various fields, including non-gravity, examining the resistance of materials to radiation conditions in space, examining different processes, medical and biological, how they behave in space compared to Earth.

It’s very interesting and what you’re saying is that basically this space station is always manned, these are rotating crews if I understand correctly. How long does each crew stay and how many astronauts fly into space on the crew?
“Now there are three people at the station and this morning they were launched to the same Spice X spacecraft, which Eitan will also fly, four more so that each team stays there for a different period. Eitan will stay there for eight to ten days, which means he will have between 100 and 200 hours “To also conduct Hebrew lessons for Israeli students from space, and also to perform experiments, and this is a rare opportunity to promote all of these areas.”

Is he here? Is he already in Florida?
“He is in Israel, we were today in the exciting ceremony of the announcement of the departure at the President’s House, the whole task is under the management and leadership of the Ramon Foundation, Eitan was a close friend of Ilan and Rona Ramon and one of the founders and directors of the foundation.”

I mean Rona knew in her life that Eitan might fly into space?
“Maybe he told her, I’ll ask him if he told her it was in his plans.”

It is interesting. Say, does he know the crew that will fly with him into space or will they connect to this mission later?
“They know, one veteran astronaut who has already done a number of missions in space will fly there and three other private individuals like him.”

How long until you get to the station?
“It changes. There is a short and long way, there are the shorter and longer routes, the crew that flew this morning flew for a long flight over 20 hours but it is also possible in less than eight hours. A few hours and you arrive.”

Great and beautiful success on this project, do we have any more such pilots who are astronauts and they are going to fly?
“I think the global trend, according to which the entire space industry is becoming more and more private and less governmental, opens up a lot of possibilities for non-profit organizations, other factors and international collaborations, and we want to see more groundbreaking missions and more Israeli astronauts and it is definitely a holiday Today in this industry. “

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