ORT Kiryat Motzkin joins the NASA space program


Colonel Ilan Roman, the first Israeli Astronaut scheduled to fly aboard the space shuttle Discovery, will perform a scientific experiment proposed and designed by students from the Kiryat Motzkin ORT. The experiment is aimed at learning whether the lack of gravitational forces in space affects the development of crystals. On earth, when a liquid solidifies into fibres, the fibres grow in a direction opposite to that of gravitational forces. With the supervision of Professor Eliezer Kolodne from the Technion in Haifa and their teacher Dr. Birnbaum, the students designed the experiment that will check how solid filaments will grow in the micro-gravitation conditions of space. The materials chosen for the experiment contain calcium and magnesium, and when introduced into a solution, will form blue and white crystals and symbolize the flag of Israel. The experiment is part of the Stars Project, aimed at attracting students to the space program and looking for fresh and innovative ideas for outer space scientific experiments. The Israeli committee that chose the ORT Kiryat Motzkin experiment was comprised of Technion professors and representatives of the Israel Space Agency, the Ministry of Education and the Spacehab Company, that will produce the test for the space shuttle. The committee checked two more suggestions, in physics and biology, one of them from ORT Megadim in Karmiel. All three teams of students will join forces in designing the test and will follow its progress in real time through the Internet. **photos available upon request