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Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope

19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope is the untold, inspirational story of Colonel Ilan Ramon, a fighter pilot and son of Holocaust survivors who became the first astronaut from Israel. Inspired by his family and country, Ramon's mission into space became a quest to tell the world a powerful story about the resilience of the human spirit. Although the seven astronauts of Columbia tragically perished on February 1, 2003, a remarkable story of hope, friendship across cultures, and an enduring faith emerged. Going behind the scenes, Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope details Ramon's "mission within the mission" to carry into space a miniature Torah scroll that survived the horrors of the Holocaust and once belonged to Israel's lead scientist for the mission, Joachim Joseph. The film follows the scroll's path from the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen to the flight deck of Columbia. From the depths of hell to the heights of space, this Torah would serve to honor the hope of a nation and to fulfill a promise made to generations past and future.

Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Pbs (Direct)
  • DVD Release Date: April 23, 2013
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BCV3IV4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,652 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
I was fortunate to catch this moving program as it aired on PBS earlier this month in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the Columbia shuttle disaster.

One quibble: the program needs a better title. The rather generic "Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope" does little to alert the viewer that the narrative - while properly paying its respects to the entire, diverse crew - focuses on the moving personal story of Israeli fighter pilot-turned-astronaut Ilan Ramon (née Ilan Wolferman). With 135 total missions, US residents quickly turned blasé about each Shuttle blastoff, seeming only to pay attention when tragedy struck. But for Israel, Ramon's flight was a matter of great national pride, and his death a cause for great mourning.

But, while in the air, Ramon humbly grabs the stage to reveal his "mission within the mission" - showing a small Torah scroll he has carried into space. It's the tale of this scroll - how it survived the horrors of a concentration camp, how its possessor grew up to be one of Israel's top scientists, and how it came into Ramon's hands - that form the emotional core of the film.

It is a pure delight that the producers thought so much of this story that they captured it on film. Once again, we have Tom Hanks to thank for his abiding love of space exploration. Hanks is the executive producer here. His Playtone production company presents the program in conjunction with Herzog & Company/HCO and West Street Productions. It's a winning partnership. Those names brought luminaries such as Shimon Peres into the project. Peres' regal, eloquent presence is the cap on this well-told story.
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
It is a well done human interest story about the Israeli astronaut and his relationships with his fellow travelers and his national mission
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I feel a slightly personal connection to the loss of the Columbia since I witnessed the break up from my backyard in Texas through image-stabilized binoculars. It was strange to know what had happened even before NASA knew for certain, to flip on the early-morning TV and see nothing about it. But even after it was front-page news, I only learned brief biographies of the crew. They were names and faces, mainly. "Space Shuttle Columbia: Mission of Hope" fixed that in regards Ilan Ramon, the Israeli crew member. The documentary is poignant and moving. Highly recommended.
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
This fim told a very interesting story of the Israeli astronaut and the things he took into space What an amazing account of our spiritual connections! We all look to one God.
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By Eric Printz on February 8, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Great story, it's unfortunate to have lost such a great crew, but their courage and sacrifice are greatly appreciated after watching this.
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This was not what I expected, but it ended up being so much more. I knew a good bit about the mission, but very little about the men and women who flew on the mission. This movie focuses on one of the crew, and weaves an amazing story that is beyond words. I'll be sharing this with my kids.
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By Deborah Dunbar on January 28, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I enjoyed the movie short. It shows cooperation across borders and the real mission that ended in the shuttle breaking apart over Texas on reentry.

The one message that was throughout the movie was the team spirit, the acknowledgement of the danger, and the acceptance of such from the family.

I would recommend this movie for ANYONE wanting the history of the shuttle program.
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By Sarah on January 4, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Moving with a wonderful message of hope - this movie reminds me of the best book I've ever read - a memoir by Gregg Tyler Milligan, entitled God Must Be Sleeping. There are those people among us who never give up, working tirelessly to make this a beautiful world for us all each and every day.

Though the circumstances of the movie and book I mention are vastly different, the underlying meaning in both is one we all seek in our lives. It is captured beautifully by Mr. Milligan in his extraoridinary memoir . . . no matter what suffering is endured, we all can make it to a better day if keep trying and remember we are here to save one another, and it is in that fight forward that we all truly live. You can see the same spirit through the people in this movie honoring the memory of those lost by spreading their message.
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