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ILAN RAMON REMAINS RECOVERED



Submitted by Arthur - N1ORC

 The remains of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon have been found among the
wreckage of the space shuttle Columbia and will be brought to Israel for
burial, the Israeli army said today. 

NASA officials informed representatives of the Israeli army that the body
of Ramon had been identified, the army said in a statement. The remains
will be brought to Israel for a funeral in the coming days. 

"This is a relief to all of us, especially the family," said Brig. Gen.
Rani Falk, an Israeli air force attache in Washington. "NASA informed us
officially that Ilan Ramon, may his name be blessed, was identified, and
we can bring him for burial in Israel in the coming days." 

Ramon's body was one of four sets of remains that have been positively
identified, Israel Radio reported. The DNA and jaw bone of Ramon's body
were checked to ensure that they were indeed his, the radio said. 

Israel had sent four ultra-Orthodox specialists to aide NASA in searching
for the remains of the astronauts, which were scattered near the
Texas-Louisiana state line. According to Jewish law, all parts of a
Jewish person must be buried. If the body is not found, a funeral is not
possible. 

On Sunday, NASA officials said there were at least three reports of body
parts found in rural areas. Remains reportedly discovered in Texas
include a skull, a torso, a thigh bone and a leg. 

More human remains were found Tuesday, and a resident of Vernon Parish,
La., found fabric bearing a blue Star of David on a silver background,
according to the local sheriff. The object presumably is a patch from
Ramon's suit. 

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