Lt. Assaf Ramon, whose father Ilan died in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003, was killed in a training accident today. His plane crashed to the ground for unknown reasons.
Ilan Ramon was Israel's first, and so far only, astronaut. The Columbia disaster was seen as a national tragedy here in Israel, and several places have been named after Ramon, who among other things, also participated in the bombing of Iraq's nuclear facility in 1981. After his death, his son Assaf was determined to follow his footsteps and become a pilot in the Israeli Air Force. As a pilot's widow, Rona Ramon had a right not to allow her son to enter the pilot training program, but she did not stand in his way. I can't even imagine how she and the whole Ramon family are feeling right now. It's just too horrible.