On Thursday, January 31st at 9pm, PBS will air a special documentary entitled "Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope." This movie tells the remarkable true story of Colonel Ilan Ramon, Israel's first astronaut, and the miniature Torah scroll he carried from the depths of Hell to the heights of Space.
On February 1st, 2003, the seven astronauts of NASA's Columbia Shuttle lost their lives. There have been so many stories told about their final mission, but there is still one more story to tell - not about tragedy, but about hope.

This story begins before Columbia, before the space age, during the Second World War. It was before dawn in a Nazi concentration camp, and a young boy was hiding what should have been a joyous ceremony - becoming a bar mitzvah. At the camp of Bergen-Belsen, a miniature torah scroll was given to this young boy. The scroll would survive the horrors of the Holocaust. This boy, Joachim "Yoya" Joseph would grow up to become Israel's lead scientist for the Columbia shuttle mission.

The PBS special follows the journey of this scroll into the hands of Ilan Ramon and finally up into space with the most diverse shuttle crew in history. The PBS documentary took more than seven years to complete, and includes rare drawings from the concentration camp made in secret by a camp inmate, and archival NASA footage of the astronauts as they prepared for their mission.

The special will also include interviews with President Shimon Peres, as well as the family of Ilan Ramon. Please see the PBS promo below, and we invite you to tune in on January 31st at 9pm (check your local listings) to see this amazing story being told for the first time.