For the first time, Israel will have a live video hookup with the International Space Station. Students at Hebrew University Thursday will hear a lecture from Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano, a member of the European Space Agency’s mission on the space station.
Students will be able to ask Parmitano questions about his mission and activities. On the day of the broadcast, he will have been in space for 166 days, during which time he has conducted nearly two dozen experiments.
The broadcast is actually a thank-you nod from the European Space Agency for Israel’s generosity in allowing copies of documents authored by Albert Einstein, from the collection of the Einstein Archive of Hebrew University, to go into space.
In June 2013, the EU launched a giant ATV – automated transfer vehicle – that carried 6.6 tons of supplies to the space station, enough to supply astronauts for six months. The ATV was named for Einstein, and the EU felt it appropriate to include some of the scientist’s documents on board. They filed a request with the Israel Space Agency, which in turn asked Hebrew University for copies of the documents related to space-time theory. The university consented, and the documents were sent up – to be signed by Parmitano in space, after which they will be returned to earth.
Thursday’s broadcast will take place using technology supplied by Israeli technology aggregator Bynet, which specializes in long-distance communications. The event will be broadcast in Germany and Italy as well, Hebrew University said.