Skip To Content
Israel News

Mezuzas Blast Off to Outer Space

Mezuzas created by Judaica designer Laura Cowan will soon be, literally, out of this world.

Cowan has been making space-travel themed ritual objects since she moved to Israel from London several years ago. But that didn’t prepare her for the e-mail she received in January, from American Jewish astronaut Greg Chamitoff, about her rocket-inspired mezuzas.

“He said that two of his friends had bought them and asked him to take them into space,” Cowan said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

In May, Chamitoff will set off for the International Space Station, a research facility that orbits the earth, with two of Cowan’s mezuzas — one named for the Apollo, NASA’s 1960s moon-landing mission, and one inspired by the design of a space shuttle —among the small number of personal belongings he is allowed to bring. He will live on board the space station for six months.

Cowan, who primarily works with such metals as aluminum and stainless steel, told The Shmooze that she sees her art as a marriage between “something very futuristic and something very ancient.”

Asked whether she plans to stay in contact with Chamitoff, she demurred.

“I’ll send him an e-mail,” she said, “but he’s a busy astronaut, so I don’t want to bother him too much.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.