During the International Space University (ISU) Space Studies Session held at NASA Ames in Northern California over the Summer, a very magical dinner was spontaneously organized. Four of the Ilan Ramon Scholars: Eyal Ben-Ze'ev, Naama Lilach, Noam Ganot, and Yonatan Winetraub joined U.S. astronaut Dr. Jeffrey Hoffman to share their unique experiences and exchange ideas. A highlight of the evening were the first hand stories of Ilan Ramon that Dr. Hoffman kindly shared with those of us gathered at the table. As one of the founders of the Ilan Ramon scholarship project this was truly a pivotal moment in the history of the program. For a moment it was as if a torch has been passed from the past to the future.
Michael PotterISU SSP09 Israeli participants at NASA AMES (from left to right): Yonatan Winetraub, Naama Lilach, Noam Ganot and Eyal Ben-Ze'ev
During the summer of 2009 seven Israelis participated in two international studies programs: 1. International Space University (ISU) – www.isunet.edu; 2. Singularity University (SU) – www.singularityu.Org. The studies took place at NASA AMES, U.S.A.
The space program takes place every summer in a different location around the world, and the SU program is held regularly at the NASA Ames Center.
We came to the programs from various work places: employees of Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), a Major from the ministry of defense (IMOD), a Tel Aviv University excellence-program student, an adviser to president Peres, a Rambam Hospital physician and a Tel Aviv University researcher. Our participation and other expenses were paid by ourselves and by scholarships (~30 thousand dollars per person). The two months programs included studies, projects and work with approximately 170 additional participants from over 30 countries around the world (the number of participants is constantly growing).
The accumulated experiences, knowledge and the contacts we made with the other participants are extremely valuable. We talked about Israel in formal and informal occasions, during a lecture on the Israeli space program and even during the evenings while drinking beer. Prior to, and during the program, we contacted authorities in Israeli and abroad, in order to receive assistance in the process of presenting Israel (both financial and explanation aid (HASBARA). During the ISU and SU programs each country has a culture night in which it presents pictures, videos, folk dances, food etc., from its home land. The Israeli dinner was held in this format and was praised by many participants, staff and NASA members.
Programs such as ISU and SU have a great and positive impact on many people from different countries and from different fields. Recently, a number of ISU graduates arrived to Israel and spent a week visiting. We also created professional relationships with a number of people from different countries.
We believe that the State of Israel and its ministries (science, foreign, tourism etc.) can benefit from these remarkable opportunities in the coming years, by providing assistance to Israeli participants.
My name is Daniel Rockberger age 31, born in London.
In 1981 my parents decided to immigrate to Israel and that is where I grew up.
When at the age of 11 after having a stiff neck again, I realized I stopped to look up to every sound of an airplane in the sky; it was time to take action!
I spent the years 12-18 mostly at my local aeromodelling club (Raanana), building and flying model gliders and at the age of 13 I passed the Israel aero club instructors course at the Aeronautic faculty of the Technion and spent the next five years teaching youths in aeromodelling and aerodynamic basics. During this hobby I competed in many competitions and participated in many activities.
At the age of 18 I joined the army for my three year service like every 18 year old in Israel and served in the Air force.
After the army I worked for 2 years as a composite materials manufacturer building radoms, unmanned aerial vehicles, and other composite parts.
In the years 1999-2004 I studied Mechanical Engineering at the Technion and worked at many things during this time to pay for the student life expenses.
I taught an academic course of basic aerodynamics and aeromodelling in the Aeronautical faculty and spent all the duration of my degree working as a research assistant on composite helicopter blades.
My most proud achievement then (2000-2003) was being appointed Club manager at my local aeromodelling club, which had over 100 youths of ages 11-18. The job was to manage the club and make class curriculums from simple models in the first year all the way to international level free flight model gliders.
After university I returned to my UAV company and worked there as a composite UAV Engineer.
After finding a young replacement at the club I wanted to help the aeromodelling hobby in the whole country and not only my home town.
I was voted chairman of the Audit committee of the Israel aero club and the year after was voted to be on the management committee.
Due to my leaving to France for a year to study I was voted to be the Israeli aero modeling of the Israeli aero club, representative to the FAI (Federation Aeronautic International).
My interested in the last five years or so has shifted to the space part of the word “Aerospace” at first as an interest and then (after the Columbia accident) as a career desire.
I was deeply honored to receive a scholarship for ISU in the name of Ilan Ramon and have felt this year that I am representing Israel and Ilan’s heritage of Israel in Space.
I will continue this conduct through my internship at NASA Goddard Space Center to my Masters 06 graduation on the first of September 2006.