Prof. Yoav Yair’s experiment was selected to take part in the Rakia Mission" and will be launched to the" International Space Station in 2022

13 August

School of Sustainability

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The Ramon Foundation and the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Science and Technology are sending the second Israeli, Eytan Stibbe, into space, on a historic mission. The purpose of the ‘Rakia’ mission is to inspire the younger generation while advancing and expanding the Israel Aerospace Industry.


At the beginning of the year 2022, a mission is anticipated to leave for the International Space Station; a mission in which Israel will have a significant presence, capable of contributing much to development of the space industry and to improving life on earth.


AX1, an enterprise initiated and led by the Axion Space company, the first mission to the International Space Station – subject to approval by NASA, is to be manned entirely by private astronauts. As such, it brings tidings of a revolution in manned flights to space, a revolution that will facilitate generating substantial progress in the field.


The three astronauts leading the mission include the Israeli businessman, previously a combat pilot – Eytan Stibbe. Stibbe, a close friend of the Ramon family, will be the second Israeli in space, and the first in the past eighteen years. The mission, headed in Israel by the Ramon Foundation in conjunction with the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Science and Technology, will facilitate promotion of a variety of topics which will contribute enormously to Israeli society and to all of humankind.


The ‘Rakia’ mission serves as an example of extraordinary collaboration between diverse factors, and it manifests values of peace, innovation and social responsibility. Connecting the younger generation in Israel and around the globe to these values, combining the dreams which the mission embodies, and proving that really anything is possible – these are topics that play a central part in the Ramon Foundation’s vision.


The mission will enable Israeli entrepreneurs and researchers to advance innovative ideas and will provide a rare opportunity for them to test their enterprises in a unique study environment, thereby contributing to international and Israeli research industries. In addition, the mission will make diversified educational activities accessible, to benefit all Israeli children. It will in fact, be the first time that Israeli children and youth will have access to the International Space Station, in Hebrew.


Moreover, this mission is part of the Israel Space Agency in the Ministry of Science and Technology’s extensive strategy to turn Israel into a world class space superpower, and to generate a local Eco-system of approximately 350 companies in the field of Civil Space, providing a livelihood to around 25 thousand employees, and being responsible for about 0.5 billion dollars in annual private investments in Israeli industry.


Prof. Yoav Yair’s experiment was selected to take part in the "Rakia Mission" and will be launched to the International Space Station in 2022. ILAN-ES aims to study electrical phenomena above thunderstorms, known as Transient Luminous Events: blue jets propagating from cloud tops to the stratosphere (~40 km), gigantic jets from clouds to the ionosphere (~ 90 km), and ELVES and red sprites initiated above tropospheric thunderstorms inside the mesosphere (50-90 km).


Observations will enhance our understanding of the coupling processes between the lower and upper atmosphere. Space imaging will be augmented by a global ground-based campaign, with lightning location networks in different spectral ranges (ELF, VLF) as well as optical cameras operated by international research groups and a network of schools and amateurs.


Daily operations will rely on forecasts of thunderstorm targets that will be relayed to the astronaut on-board the ISS, in a similar manner to the MEIDEX that was conducted on-board space-shuttle Columbia in 2003 by the late Col. Ilan Ramon.


As part of Prof. Yoav Yair's class, our students will participate in various aspects of the task including observation management, social operations & involvement in educational projects.