Peggy Wilhide Headquarters, Washington, DC (Phone: 202/358-1898) RELEASE: m99-223

October 26, 1999

U.S./ISRAELI PARTNERSHIP IN SPACE -- MORE THAN FROZEN KUGEL A new partnership between America's space agency and Israel is part of a comprehensive international space effort that will eventually take astronauts and scientists from all over the world to the farthest reaches of the universe, said NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin. As part of the two-day American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) National Summit, Goldin addressed leaders from across the nation Monday night, October 25, 1999, at the National Air and Space Museum. In his speech, Goldin outlined the many areas where NASA is partnering with Israel, including an agreement that allows two Israeli astronauts to train at NASA�s Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX, and one to fly on the Space Shuttle. "We at NASA are thrilled about our partnership with Israel; we are excited that Ilan Ramon and Itzhak Mayo are training in Houston," said Goldin. "This is a relationship that we�ve worked on for some time, practically from my earliest days as NASA Administrator." Goldin noted that NASA and Israel are working together in many areas, particularly Earth science, which uses the unique vantage point of space to look back and monitor the Earth and its resources. For example, just last week, an Israeli scientist, Daniel Rosenfeld, discovered that particulates in the atmosphere resulting from forest fires can actually suppress rainfall. "On the Israeli side, many of these projects will be run and maintained at universities like Bar Ilan, Ben Gurion, Hebrew and Tel Aviv," said Goldin. "That�s important because we need to keep inspiring young people. That way we make sure that although Ilan Ramon is one of the first, he�s not one of the last. "I feel strongly about that because, when that Israeli astronaut is strapped into his seat and that countdown hits zero, it will be much more than just another Shuttle launch. It will be a trip that represents the enduring partnership between the United States and Israel and how that relationship is, literally, reaching new heights." For a complete version of the Administrator�s speech, see: http://www.nasa.gov/bios/goldin_speeches.html -end-