Eytan Stibbe

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Eytan Stibbe
איתן סטיבה
Eitan Stiva.jpg
Born (1958-01-12) January 12, 1958 (age 64)
Space career
Axiom Space
Time in space
17 days, 1 hour and 49 minutes
MissionsSpaceX Ax1

Eytan Meir Stibbe is an Israeli former fighter pilot, fighter ace, businessman and commercial astronaut.[1]

In November 2020 he paid Axiom Space to become a space tourist on a ten day mission to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft on Axiom Mission 1, a private crewed orbital spaceflight. The stay was extended to 17 days. [2]

Early life[edit]

Stibbe was born in Haifa in 1958 and grew up in the United States until the age of 7, when the family moved back to Ramat Gan, a suburb of Tel Aviv. His parents immigrated from the Netherlands to Israel in 1953. His father was a soil and water researcher at the Volcani Institute in Rehovot, and his mother was a social worker at a mental health clinic also in Ramat Gan. Stibbe studied at the Blich High School [he] in Ramat Gan and was active in the Israeli Scouts (Tzofim) movement.[3]

Military career[edit]

Stibbe, right, during his military service

In July 1976, Stibbe started the Israeli Air Force’s fighter pilot training course. He first served as a Skyhawk pilot in Squadrons 102 and 140, then moved to Squadron 201 (Phantoms) and continued on to become an F-16 pilot in Squadron 117. During his time in the IAF he was assigned to 117 Squadron flying F-16s under the command of Colonel Ilan Ramon, who later became the first ever Israeli to fly in space aboard STS-107.[2] He completed his military service in 1984 and continued to serve as a reservist in Squadron 117 until 2012. He obtained the rank of Colonel.

Business career[edit]

In 1984, after his military service, Stibbe joined a team of advisers at Israel Aircraft Industries that was working on the development of systems for the Lavi.[citation needed] In 1985, he was among the founders of the LR Group, which implemented projects and established infrastructures in developing countries. In 2011, he left LR and sold his share of the company (33%).[citation needed] In 2012, he acquired 35% of Mitrelli, an engineering, procurement and construction company (ECP) whose fields of operation were similar to those of LR.[citation needed] In 2018, Stibbe left Mitrelli and sold all of his shares in the company.[citation needed]

Stibbe established Vital Capital Fund in 2010, the company invests in enterprises whose goal is to improve the economic, personal and social wellbeing of low- and middle-income communities. The fund’s investment strategy is to invest in companies whose intention is to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a competitive financial return.[4]

He is a member of the advisory committee of Bridges Israel, an impact investment fund that invests in Israeli businesses.[citation needed] Stibbe is a partner in HarTech, which develops simulation systems; LISOD, Hospital of Israeli Oncology in Ukraine; Pangea Therapeutics, a digital healthcare company that develops highly personalized cancer medications and treatments based on computational genomics; and Proprep, an online STEM tutorial company.[citation needed]

Space tourist[edit]

On 8 April 2022, Stibbe took off for the International Space Station (ISS) from Cape Canaveral as a space tourist. Stibbe is the 583rd space traveler in the world.[5] Stibbe described his space tourism as the “Rakia [he]” mission, which was the title of the book published with the fragments of the diary of Ilan Ramon, which survived the 2003 Columbia crash tragedy.[6] He flew to ISS aboard SpaceX Axiom Space-1, paying for his own ticket to ride.[7] He became the second Israeli in space, after Ilan Ramon, who died in the Columbia disaster, returning from space.[8] Stibbe will be accompanying and demonstrating many Israeli technologies during this mission along with AstroRad a radiation protective vest from StemRad.[9]


  1. ^ "Axiom Private Astronauts Headed to International Space Station".
  2. ^ a b Sheetz, Michael (November 16, 2020). "Israeli fighter pilot joins SpaceX's first private flight for Axiom next year". CNBC. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  3. ^ "Eytan Stibbe's prsonal blog - Rakia mission".
  4. ^ "Vital Capital".
  5. ^ Axiom Ax-1 Crew welcomed by International Space Station Expedition 67 Crew, retrieved April 25, 2022
  6. ^ New Details Emerge About Israeli Astronaut’s Upcoming Space Mission
  7. ^ "Israel names second Israeli to go to space: A millionaire who will fund the trip himself". Haaretz. Retrieved November 17, 2020.
  8. ^ Robert Z. Pearlman (January 26, 2021). "Axiom Space Names First Private Crew to Visit Space Station". Scientific American. SPACE.com.
  9. ^ "Israeli_Technologies".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

See also[edit]

SpaceX Axiom Space-1 spacetravellers