Born June 20, 1954 in Tel Aviv, Israel. Ilan Ramon received a bachelor of science degree in electronics and computer engineering from the University of Tel Aviv, Israel. Ramon and his wife, Rona, have four children, Asaf, Tal, David and Noaa.
Colonel Ramon was a fighter pilot and accumulated over 3,000 flight hours on the A-4, Mirage III-C, and F-4, and over 1,000 flight hours on the F-16. He fought in the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and Operation peace for Galilee (1982). From 1994-98 he served as Head of the Department of Operational Requirements for Weapons Development and Acquisition.
He was the first Israeli astronaut and the payload specialist on Columbia STS-107. He was the prime crewmember for the Mediterranean Israeli Dust Experiment (MEIDEX). The mission ended abruptly when space shuttle Columbia and its crew perished during entry, 16 minutes before its scheduled landing.
Ilan Ramon made the ultimate sacrifice and lost his life in service to the space program on February 1, 2003 at 48 years of age.