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Sad news to report: The son of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon was killed Sunday when his F-16 warplane crashed on a routine training flight, the Israeli military said. Lt. Asaf Ramon was the son of Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first and only astronaut, who was one of the seven crew members killed when the Columbia broke apart as it re-entered the atmosphere in 2003, as the crew was returning home after the STS-107 mission.
Lt. Ramon, 21, was the eldest of Ilan Ramon’s four children, and was just 15 when his father died. According to Avi Blozovsky, editor of Hayadan, the only dedicated science news site in Hebrew, after the death of his father, the young Ramon said he hoped to be an astronaut and continue the legacy of his father.
The younger Ramon excelled in his pilot training and in June received a presidential honor.
Ramon’s fighter jet crashed south of the West Bank city of Hebron. An eyewitness said the plane flew over the southern West Bank at low altitude before crashing, and that there was a huge fire.
The Israeli air force has called an official inquiry and halted training in Israel’s F-16 squadrons until further notice.
Source: AP/Yahoo News, Hayadan,