Israeli Astronaut. A Colonel in the Isreali Air Force, he was the first Israeli in fly in Outer Space. Before becoming an astronaut he had served in the Yom Kippur War in 1982. He was a Payload Specialist on the Space Shuttle Columbia. On February 1, 2003 NASA lost all communication and radar contact with the shuttle just minutes before a 9:16AM scheduled landing time. A short time later it was confirmed that the Columbia had exploded over eastern Texas, and that there were no survivors.