The time has come… 10 October 2007
Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha, 35 has been chosen to be Malaysia’s FIRST ANGKASAWAN (updated). Russian Space Agency (Roskosmos) had listed him and Capt Dr Faiz Khaleed, the first two Malaysian astronaut trainees in Russia as “certified cosmonauts.”
“It’s really important to me to spur interest among all the Malaysian people,” Shukor told reporters during a January press briefing at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. “But my focus has always been on schoolchildren.”
However, it was reported that NASA of USA had earlier listed the two Malaysians as space flight participants and not as astronauts for the 16th International Space Station (ISS) mission. (Can anybody confirm this with Me?)
The ISS is located 402. 34km from the surface of the Earth.
(irrelevant paragraph) The decision on who would be the First (and only) Malaysian Angkasawan to fly to space on board the Soyuz-FG spacecraft on Wednesday, 10 October 2007 will be made as late as four hours before the flight which is scheduled for about 9.20pm Malaysia time. [Latest news: Bernama]
A Malaysian minister said if the country decided to send another Malaysian for a second space mission, the Angkasawan not chosen for this mission would be the next one to go to space.
Does that mean another round of Malaysian Space Programme? He said once about sending a Malaysian into planet Mars maybe 50 years from now. (omfg?)
Anyway we’re in the very last few hours to see a Malaysian going into space… … …
It has been confirmed that our 18-month trained Malaysian Angkasawan can make headline news around the world. Why? He will be travelling into orbit alongside Peggy Whitson, an American who will become the first woman to command the ISS, and Russian Yuri Malenchenko. So our Malaysian will be part of the “fame.” (News reports around the world including Reuters, FoxNews, Xinhua have published this story)
Photo courtesy of Reuters.
It was reported that our Angkasawan will carry out studies of the effects of microgravity and space radiation on cells and microbes, as well as experiments with proteins for a potential HIV vaccine while in space.
Meanwhile, the Soyuz rocket carrying a Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft has been adorned with a Malaysian flag — which was moved Monday to the launch pad from its assembly site at the Baikonur cosmodrome, which Russia rents from Kazakhstan.
Pride of the Nation: The Russian Soyuz TMA-11 space ship that will carry new crew to the international space station is transported to the launch pad at the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Monday, Oct 8. The rocket is scheduled to blast off tomorrow, Wednesday Oct 10.
Also, the mission coincides with the last days of Ramadan. He will fast and pray in space, by being the third Muslim in space and the first to live in space during the holy month of Ramadan. He will also bring a “symbolic” load of “Halal” Malaysian food to the ISS… and celebrate Hari Raya (Aidilfitri) in space!
Our Angkasawan is expected to return to Earth on 21st October with two Russian members of the current space station crew.
Whitson and Malenchenko will stay on as the station’s new crew, and will be joined later in October by American astronaut Daniel Tani, who is arriving with the shuttle Discovery. Tani will replace fellow American Clayton Anderson, who has been at the station since June.
— STAY TUNE TO YOUR TV SETS TOMORROW AS THE HISTORIC EVENT IS BROADCAST LIVE!!! —
Congrats and Good luck to our RM95 million Mr Angkasawan!