AP is carrying a poignant story about Israel’s first astronaut, whose diary survived the Columbia’s explosion over Palestine, Texas:
The U.S. space agency returned the diary to Ramon’s wife, Rona, who brought it to forensics experts at the Israel Museum and from the Israeli police. The diary took about a year to restore, Zalmona said, and it took police scientists about four more years to decipher the pages. About 80 percent of the text has been deciphered, and the rest remains unreadable, he said.
Two pages will be displayed. One contains notes written by Ramon, and the other is a copy of the Kiddush prayer, a blessing over wine that Jews recite on the Sabbath. Zalmona said Ramon copied the prayer into his diary so he could recite it on the space shuttle and have the blessing broadcast to Earth.
Most of the pages contain personal information which Ramon’s wife did not wish to make public, he said.
They say it’s a miracle that any pages at all survived, through fire, frost, mold and insects.