Jewish astronaut Jessica Meir, 42, shared photos of Israel she took from space.
Meir joined the crew of the International Space Station in September and in October became part of the first-ever female spacewalking team. Meir, who is the fourth Jewish woman and 15th Jewish astronaut overall to be part of a space mission, brought an Israeli flag to the space station as one of her allowed personal items.
Meir’s late father, born in Iraq, immigrated with his family to pre-state Israel as a young child and later fought in Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, according to JTA. He became a doctor and took a job in Sweden, where he met Meir’s mother; together, they moved to Maine when Meir’s father was offered a job there.
“My father’s globe spanning journey as a surgeon from the Middle East, to Europe, and eventually to the U.S. was an inspiration to many in my immediate and extended family. #TheJourney,” tweeted Meir on Friday.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin responded to the photos in a tweet, saying, “Dear Jessica, thank you for taking us with you on your space voyage. We are proud of you and send warm regards from Israel.”
Meir is expected to stay on the ISS until the spring of 2020.