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Airing on PBS stations in the US tonight (January 31, 2013) a new film in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the space shuttle Columbia disaster. Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope tells the little-known story of Columbia astronaut Ilan Ramon from Israel, the son of Holocaust survivors who became Israel’s first astronaut. Ramon carried into space a miniature Torah scroll that had survived the horrors of the Holocaust, given to a boy in a secret bar mitzvah observed in the pre-dawn hours in the notorious Nazi concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen.
“Moving tributes like this film remind us all that spaceflight always carries great risk,” said NASA Administrator and four-time space shuttle astronaut Charles Bolden. “But fallen heroes like Ilan were willing to risk the ultimate sacrifice to make important science discoveries and push the envelope of human achievement.”
See the trailer, below:
The film premieres tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST (check local listings here) on PBS stations. It will be followed by an encore broadcast of NOVA “Space Shuttle Disaster” at 10:00 p.m. EST, which examines the causes of the tragedy.
Most PBS specials are rebroadcast and are usually available later on the internet, and so check your local listings if you missed it, and we’ll also post a link if/when this film becomes available online.