Eytan Stibbe, a private astronaut and the second Israeli to reach space, is preparing to celebrate Easter in orbit.
This past Friday (April 8), Stibbe was one of four members to embark on the first full -scale voyage to the International Space Station. The mission, called Ax-1, sent the crew on a 10-day voyage that included about eight days on the orbiting lab.
Ax-1 was designed by Houston-based company Axiom Space and commissioned by former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría, who works for Axiom. The crew left Earth with a SpaceX Dragon capsule that was launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.
Given the timing of this mission, the Ax-1 crews are on the ISS during the Jewish Passover holiday, which begins at sunset on Friday (April 15).
“Easter is about independence, an asset that we celebrate every year and remind ourselves of the importance of independence,” Stibbe said during a news conference on before April 1.
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Stibbe was not the first to celebrate the holiday in the air. In 2008, NASA astronaut Garrett Reisman, the first Jewish astronaut to live in space, celebrated a day off in the orbiting lab. Along with Stibbe, fellow astronaut Jared Isaacman and engineer William Shatner, who made a suborbital flight into space in 2021, 19 Jews have gone into space to date.
Passover is an eight -day Jewish holiday that commemorates the story of the liberation of the enslaved Jews and their exodus from ancient Egypt, as told by religious history. made in 1446 BC
“This is based on a 3,000 -year history, where Moses had the famous phrase‘ release my people, ’” Stibbe said of the holiday, singing the famous line, derived from the song “Go Down Moses.” a spirit by oppressed Americans with songs that tell the story of oppressed Jews.
“We had traditions at that feast,” Stibbe added, referring to the traditional Passover Seder, a traditional feast that marks the beginning of the holiday. A Seder has many traditions, “including drinking four glasses of wine,” Stibbe says. “So I took a glass of wine with me [to space], but I don’t think I’ll find any wine on the ground. And I don’t think I need a glass of wine to drink. “
Alcohol is banned in the air because of the harm it (and drinkers) can do to the technology. However, in the past, Russian cosmonauts were said to have bits of booze on board, as if cognac was the drink of choice.
Another highlight is not only the Passover Seder, but the entire holiday, a matzah, or unleavened bread. Kosher keepers do not eat for the holiday (except unleavened bread), vegetables and legumes during the eight -day holiday. (This includes caring outside the home, among other traditions, but not all people follow these traditions on the same level).
Stibbe was taken with him to the space shmurah matzah, or “guarded” matzah, along with other Passover food, donated by Rabbi Zvi Konikov of Chabad of the Space & Treasure Coasts, a church. and Florida.
“This is very different,” Konikov told Florida Today. “When I saw Stibbe going up in the air, I knew how hard it was to eat kosher, so I thought he had a little box of shmurah matzah to put in a bag that to take. on his mission. “
Of the 19 Jews who went into the air, Stibbe was only the second Israelite to go into the air. The first was his partner Ilam Ramon, who flew on a Columbia plane in 2003 and died along with six astronauts when the car broke down on his way back to Earth.
In Ramon’s honor, Stibbe and Ramon’s family also founded the Ramon Foundation. On the field side, Stibbe took some scientific experiments with him to guide him during his stay on the airport.