Jewish astronaut snaps space photo in memory of her late father's journey out of Iraq

Jessica Meir said her father was an inspiration to many in her immediate and extended family


The Jewish astronaut who made history in October by being part of the first all-female spacewalking team snapped pictures from space documenting the journey her late father made across the world.

Jessica Meir’s father was born in Baghdad, but his family was forced to leave Iraq because of rising antisemitism and moved first to Mandatory Palestine, before relocating to Europe and then the United States.

“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,” Ms Meir wrote on Twitter.

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin said his country was proud of her.

Ms Meir, 42, whose mother was Christian, has previously said she had grown up identifying as Jewish and had attended a synagogue in Maine, near where they lived.

“Personally I’m not really a religious person,” she told JTA earlier this year, “but I think that my Jewish cultural background is obviously a big part of my culture and especially traditions.”

She made history with fellow astronaut Christina Koch when they repaired a part of the International Space Station’s power grid in the first spacewalk operation not to involve a man.

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