Jewish Astronaut Considers Aliyah
American Jewish astronaut Garrett Reisman is considering aliyah (immigration) to Israel, according to Minister of Science and Technology Daniel Hershkowitz, who met with Reisman during a recent trip to the United States.
Reisman, 42, told Hershkowitz that the question of whether or not he will live in Israel will be decided based on his ability to find suitable work.
Reisman took his first space flight in 2008, when he spent three months in the international space station. During his stay, he gave a live interview from space for the popular American show The Colbert Report, putting him in the public eye. He sent another message from space as well, congratulating Israel on its 60th Independence Day.
Three months ago, Reisman took part in a second space flight, as part of an expert crew that travelled to the space station aboard the shuttle Atlantis. The crew stayed in space for several days but did work on the station.
Before his trips to space, Reisman worked for NASA and was part of the ground team when the Columbia took off in 2003 with Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon as one of the crew members. After the Columbia crash, Reisman was the NASA contact for the Ramon family, and he later kept in touch with the family, occasionally coming to Israel and attending memorials for Ilan Ramon.