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Space project lift-off

ISRAEL

PUPILS ARE to enjoy their own 2001 space odyssey - by preparing a unique school-science experiments in space. The tests will be performed by the first Israeli astronaut on his flight in the US space shuttle next year.

"Stars", a project to encourage the study of outer space, has been launched by the country's education ministry in co-operation with the Technion-Institute of Technology in Haifa and American company Space-hub, which integrates astronomical research with educational programmes.

Three junior high schools have been chosen for the project. Puils between 13 and 15 will be divided into three groups, each one dealing with biology, chemistry or physics, and will be supervised by scientists from the Technion. A committee of judges will decide which experiment will be performed.

"After the astronaut has performed the experiments in space, the results of the astronaut and of the children will be compared," said Yaffa Vigodsky, director of the ministry's administration for science and technology. The experiments will look at pendulum behaviour, direction of plant growth and the growth of solids in space.

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