‘Disney-style’ space park to open in Ashdod

Israelis will soon get to feel what it’s like to be an astronaut at a new hands-on learning center in the south

Artist's rendition of the Ashdod Space Park (Photo credit: Courtesy)
Artist's rendition of the Ashdod Space Park (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Israel isn’t known for its amusement parks, but that could change soon as a new space-themed park is set to open in Ashdod. The International Space Center will feature displays, movies and activities all connected to space travel, with special shows and events featuring space industry personnel and astronauts from Israel and abroad.

Among those activities will be the 3D space experience, in which participants will have the opportunity to participate in a simulated space flight, with interactive displays to help visitors learn about the planets and the future of space travel. There will also be space-themed rides, games, snack bars – and, of course, a gift shop – to provide visitors with an “out of this world” experience.

Besides fun space stuff, the park will feature a more serious side, hosting an incubator for early-stage start-ups working on space-related technology. The site will also be home to the Israel Space Cadet Training Center, designed to be Israel’s premier academy for astronautics, aeronautics and space science.

“This project is of national importance for the State of Israel, an enterprise which will promote education for the younger generation in Israel, and the city of Ashdod in particular, and encouraging the expansion of international cooperation in the fields of aerospace and science,” said Ashdod Mayor, Dr. Yehiel Lasry.

The center will be established with the assistance of universities from Israel and around the world, and accept top science students who want to train for a space-oriented career. According to organizers, the park and training center will be ready within three years.

The training center, endorsed by the Israel Space Agency, will be located in the southern coastal city of Ashdod, which has allocated 11 acres for the project. The organization behind the project, the Israel Space Park Association, includes top scientists and executives from Israel’s aerospace industry, including Space Park Association CEO, Dr. Igal Patel, Space Academy CEO Orna Marie Orshan, Board Member Col. (res.) Avi Har-Even, along with top international astronauts, high-ranking members of foreign space agencies, and other officials from Israel and overseas.

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