From the Internet….
Yuri Gagarin was the first Jewish man in
space. He flew into orbit aboard the Soviet spacecraft Vostok I on 12 April 1961. He never told anyone he was Jewish.
Boris Volynov was another Jew in space. He was the commander of Soyuz 5 in January 1969.
Judy Resnick was the first American Jewish astronaut to go into space. She served as mission specialist on the maiden voyage of the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1984 and also on the Challenger.
She died tragically when the Challenger broke apart shortly after liftoff for its 10th mission. She consulted a rabbi about lighting Shabbat candles aboard the Space Shuttle.
Of course, an open flame was not permitted, so she was advised to use electric lights at the proper hour corresponding to the onset of Shabbat at their home base, in Houston .
Jeffrey Hoffman was the first American Jewish man in space and the first person to ever bring a Torah into space. He did this during his 1996 mission on the Space Shuttle Columbia.
Another Jewish astronaut, David Wolf, was in orbit during Hanukkah and, though he couldn’t light his menorah due to the hazards of fire in an oxygen-rich atmosphere, he did take advantage of zero gravity when spinning his dreidels. “I probably have the record dreidel spin,” he later said, “it went for about an hour and a half until I lost it. It showed up a few weeks later in an air filter. I figure it went about 25,000 miles.”
Then, of course, there’s Gregory Chamitoff, in 2008. He took mezuzot shaped like rockets on to the International Space Station and placed them on the door post near his bunk bed.
Ilan Ramon, NASA photo portrait in orange suit.jpg Ilan Ramon was the first Israeli astronaut. He was the payload specialist on the Space Shuttle Columbia and,
sadly, he died along with his crew mates when the Columbia disintegrated during re-entry over Southern Texas . But during his career as an astronaut Judaism was a prominent part of his life in space. He was the first astronaut to request kosher food in space and also the first one to consult a rabbi about how to observe Shabbat while in orbit.
In addition to a Torah scroll and microfiche copy of the bible, he also carried a picture of Earth as seen from the moon that was drawn by a Jewish boy in a concentration camp during World War II.
Gary (Garrett) Reisman, who was the first Jewish astronaut to live on the International Space Station, and who brought a memento from Ilan Ramon’s widow with him. He left right before Passover and asked if he could bring matzah with him, but, alas, mission control thought the crumbs would uncontainable. ( Reisman is a self-proclaimed member of the Colbert Nation and had a cameo appearance on the series finale of Battles at Galactica).
Mark Lewis “Roman” Polansky (born June 2, 1956 ) is an American aerospace engineer and research pilot and a former NASA astronaut. Polansky received the nickname “Roman” as a joke, because he shares a last name with director Roman Polanski. He flew on three Space Shuttle missions: STS-98, STS-116, and STS-127.
Scott Jay “Doc” Horowitz (born March 24, 1957) is a retired American astronaut and a veteran of four space shuttle missions.He graduated from the United States Air Force Test Pilot School in Dec, 1990 as a member of class 90-A. Horowitz was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in 1992, and piloted missions STS-75 (1996), STS-82 (1997) and STS-101 (2000). He commanded mission STS-105, a visit to the International Space Station for equipment and crew transfer.
John Mace Grunsfeld (born October 1958) is an American physicist and a former NASA astronaut. He is a veteran of five Space Shuttle flights as a Mission Specialist and has served as NASA Chief Scientist.
Martin Joseph Fettman (B.S., D.V.M., M.S., Ph.D., Diplomate, ACVP) is an American pathologist and researcher who flew on NASA Space Shuttle mission STS-58 aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia as a Payload Specialist.
Jerome Apt.jpg Jerome III “Jay” Apt, Ph.D. (born April 28, 1949 in Massachusetts) is anAmerican astronaut and professor at Carnegie Mellon University. From 1982 through 1985 he was a flight controller responsible for Shuttle payload operations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. In 1985 he was selected as an astronaut candidate, and qualified to become an astronaut after a year of training. He has flown on four space missions and has logged over 847 hours in space.
Marsha Sue Ivins (born April 15, 1951) An American former astronaut and a veteran of five space shuttle missions. She was assigned as a flight engineer in 1980 and co-pilot on NASA administrative aircraft. In 1984, Ivins was selected as an astronaut candidate. She has flown aboard missions STS-32 (1990), STS-46 (1992), STS-62(1994), STS-81 (1997), and STS-98 (2001).
Ellen Louise Shulman Baker, M.D., M.P.H. (born April 27, 1953) is an American physician and a NASA astronaut. Baker serves as Chief of the Education/Medical Branch of the NASA Astronaut Office. Selected by NASA in May 1984, Baker became an astronaut in June 1985. Since then, she has had a variety of jobs at NASA in support of the Space Shuttle program and Space Station development. She was a mission specialist on STS-34in 1989, STS-50 in 1992, and STS-71 in 1995 and has logged over 686 hours in space. She is Chief of the Astronaut Office Education/Medical Branch.