Israel intends to send the second astronaut in its history to space next year, officials announced.
Eytan Stibbe, an ex-fighter jet pilot at the Israel Air Force, is set to take off from Florida in late 2021 to reach the International Space Station.
There, he will spend some 200 hours – just over a week – conducting various scientific experiments for Israeli researchers.
Before the takeoff, he will go through some rigorous training at sites in the United States, Germany and Russia, with the course expected to start in the immediate future.
Announcing the upcoming space voyage, Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, hailed the historical moment as “a day of great national joy and pride.”
“Eytan Stibbe will fly with the blue and white flag [on] his uniform, reminding us that the sky is no longer the limit!” the Israeli president said in a tweet.
Tal Ramon, son of the late Ilan Ramon – Israel’s first astronaut killed with the other crew members as Space Shuttle Columbia exploded before landing in 2003 – also took part in the press conference.