The Rakia mission, the launch mission of the second Israeli astronaut in space, Eytan Stibbe, as a member of the Axiom Mission 1 team, to the International Space Station, which set out on April 8, 2022, and was led by the Ramon Foundation in collaboration with the Israeli Space Agency in the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology.
As part of the mission, Stibbe conducted numerous scientific experiments and technological demonstrations, broadcasted educational content, and presented Israeli art at the space station.
During the month of the mission, we, at Think, established and operated the control room, space broadcasts, the visitor center for the public, and accompanying events. We also created the concept and videos for the educational field.
The mission control room and visitor center were established in a unique space at Check Point offices in Tel Aviv, which essentially served as the nerve center for the mission in Israel. Communication with Stibbe during the mission took place through this center, enabling direct dialogue with the control room of the International Space Station in the United States.
The visitor center was created to make the mission and the human space travel experience accessible to the public through interactive elements that engage all the senses. The center was designed inspired by the mission’s artistic, educational, and scientific aspects, all integrated into the design. We divided the center into five zones, each presenting a different aspect of the mission: the International Space Station area, the Rakia Mission area, the Scientific Experiments area, the Life in the International Space Station area, and the “There is no dream beyond reach” area inspired by Ilan Ramon, may he rest in peace. Over 20,000 visitors visited the center during the 45 days it operated.
For the educational content, we put together a team for content writing, filming, and editing for over 36 topics and films, some of which were later incorporated into the Israeli curriculum. The educational content was mostly broadcasted from the control room and presented by Stibbe from the space station in a live broadcast to Israeli children.
On a personal note, the production of the Rakia Mission in Israel was a unique experience for us. On one hand, it posed new challenges due to the complexity of the project, and on the other hand, it showcased our capabilities and contributions to Israeli society in times of uncertainty. There is no doubt, as Ilan Ramon said in 2003, “There is no dream beyond reach”.