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- '08 Visits (Local)
- '08 Visits (O'seas)
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- By Dr Sheikh
- Challenges/Hurdles
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- Editorials (Tributes)
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- LIMA & MISA
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- P1 - Pre-Launch
- P2 - Launch
- P3 - Dock
- P4 - On ISS
- P5 - Undock/Return
- P6 - A New Start
- Prog's Champions
- Rehab. Updates
- Selection Process
- The 2nd Angkasawan
- The Experience
- The Experiments
- The ISS
- The Prog. - Future
- The Prog. - General
- Training Updates
- Var. Formal Appear'ce
- Well-wishes
DR SHEIKH MUSZAPHAR SHUKOR & THE ANGKASAWAN PROGRAMME

A Compilation of News, Updates & Press Releases

DISCLAIMER: This is an independent non-profit website. This website neither advertises nor is promoted by any of the media sites mentioned herein. Views expressed in the individual articles are those of their respective writers/journalists/media sites and not of the owner of this website, unless otherwise stated. This collection serves as a repository for future reference only. All articles and images remain the property of their original sources.

Thursday, 18 October 2007
SPACEFLIGHT PARTICIPANT OR ASTRONAUT?
Topic: - Astronaut/Tourist?

ASK any patriotic Malaysian and he would say his countryman now orbiting the Earth is truly an astronaut or angkasawan, the Malay word for astronaut.

Dr Muszaphar showing the equipment he will use to conduct his experiments. - NEW STRAITS TIMES, AP
But ever since the US space agency NASA described Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor as a spaceflight participant, the blogs have been buzzing.

The NASA comment riled many Malaysians.

Malaysia's Science, Techology and Innovations Minister, Datuk Seri Jamaludin Jarjis, told Bernama that Dr Muszaphar would be recognised as a cosmonaut - the Russian equivalent of the astronaut - next month.

COSMONAUT

He said that an official recognition ceremony for the angkasawan as a cosmonaut would be held in Moscow on 11Nov following his return from space on 21Oct.

'Some countries might question this, but to me, it is not important. What matters is that the candidate was selected and trained by Russia and the country recognises him as a true cosmonaut,' he told reporters earlier this month.

His comments came after NASA had described Dr Muszaphar as a 'space flight participant' on its website.

NASA described the Malaysian as a 'spaceflight participant... flying under contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency'.

The Malaysian minister told journalists: 'The Russians themselves had told our man that he is a cosmonaut, and that's the end of the story.'

He added that it was the Russians who had selected the candidate and will be sending the Malaysian angkasawan to space and therefore it is appropriate for them to give the recognition and not the US.

But the comments on the Internet did not die down.

Some Malaysians saw the trip as a waste of money.

The US$25 million ($37m) agreement for the Malaysian to fly to space was negotiated in 2003 along with a US$900 million deal for Malaysia to buy 18 Russian fighter jets.

Criticism of the cost of the trip led to officials avoiding any mention of it, other than to say it is part of a US$900 million defence deal.

One reader named Jong commented in Raja Petra's blogsite, Malaysia Today: 'So what if Russia's space agency has recognised him as a cosmonaut?'

'That's unnecessary spending just to soothe the ego of the government while price hike on petrol and basic food items since last year have greatly affected the ordinary people who find it difficult to make ends meet. This is most irresponsible on the part of the government!'

The Malaysian government did not see it that way.

In an interview with the Voice of American, Science, Technology and Innovations Minister Jamaluddin Jarjis, said he hoped the space mission would inspire a new generation of Malaysian scientists.

'Putting our man, our Malaysian man in space, is basically - we want to raise the bar for Malaysia in terms of acquiring knowledge for the future, especially the young ones, the five million kids in school,' he said.

It remains to be seen whether the space trip would inspire Malaysians to take up science but Dr Muszaphar has caught the imagination of the Malaysian public. The handsome bachelor has become a national heartthrob.

Even though NASA described him as a spaceflight participant, the 35-year-old orthopaedic surgeon is not an idle space passenger. He will perform experiments involving diseases and the effects of microgravity and space radiation on cells and genes.

On Monday, he had a nine-minute chat with 24 Malaysian schoolchildren via radio and showed them how a top spun in space kept spinning non-stop.

Last night, he spoke to Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in a video conference.

Critics of the space trip seem to have quietened down in recent days.

As blogger Ahirudin Attan noted in his column, Rocky's Bru, after watching the rocket carrying DrMuszaphar take off: 'There've been a lot of verbal fights about the decision to send a Malaysian up there. But to quote this person sitting across the table enjoying his glass of wine: 'Call him an angkasawan, a cosmonaut, a space participant, or whatever you like... that's the first Malaysian in space there!'.

 

Source: The (Electric) New Paper Singapore


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
ANGKASAWAN PROJECT A RIGHT MOVE, SAYS EX-SPACEMAN
Topic: - The Prog. - General

KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia made a sound move in sending a man into space although millions of ringgit was spent on it, said former US astronaut Robert Hoot Gibson. 

"I think it is justified to embark on the space science programme when you look at the excitement you are going to build in the young people in the space programme development." 

"There are a lot of things going on in space for Malaysia," Gibson, 61, from Nashville, Tennessee told a press conference after a presentation on his aeronautical experiences at the astronaut road show at Universiti Malaysia Sabah on Tuesday. 

Although there were smart ways to send people to space without spending RM100mil for each mission, he said there were partnership ways to do it and team work arrangements that might be accomplished. 

"Sure, we could walk over to Russia and say look I will pay RM20mil. That is one way you could do it. I am sure there are smarter ways to do it, with that in mind I think it is appropriate it (space mission) should be continued," he added. 

Malaysia sent her first Angkasawan to space as part of a package deal with Russia in return for buying fighter jets. 

Gibson, who has been to space five times, is here talk to youths about a career in space. 

He said sending a Malaysian into space was a good message to youths in the country, as there were plenty of opportunities in space – from being a scientist or an engineer, among other things.

 

Source: The Star Online


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
LIVING LAB ON BOARD THE ISS
Topic: - The Experiments

MOSCOW: Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor's own body has become a live laboratory for Malaysian, European and Japanese scientists who are studying the effects of micro-gravity and space radiation on humans. 

National Angkasawan Programme director Kol Dr Zulkeffeli Mat Jusoh said by being in space, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar is exposed to certain unnatural conditions and risks including exposure to radiation equivalent to five chest X-rays daily, while micro-gravity causes redistribution of his body fluid. 

Kol Dr Zulkeffeli, who is also his flight surgeon, said the Angkasawan's health status had to be monitored constantly as his normal body function would be affected. 

These effects on humans in space are also being studied under the European Space Agency and Japanese Space Exploration Agency (Jaxa) experiments, of which Dr Sheikh Muszaphar is participating as a specimen. 

For the ESA, he uses the agency's eye-tracking device to record his visual vestibular mismatch or how micro-gravity affects his balance, and the extent eye movements trigger motion sickness.

 

MESSAGE FROM SPACE: Excited students of SK Bukit Damansara can hardly contain their excitement after speaking to Dr Sheikh Muszaphar via radio link at the National Planetarium yesterday.
The other ESA experiments are motion perception, lower back pain and immunology for pre- and post flight. In exchange for the collaboration, he gets to bring back an extra 2kg of mass load to earth.  

Under the Jaxa study, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar's exposure to radiation is measured through a dosimeter placed inside his pocket. 

Dr Zulkeffeli said that the level of radiation exposure was "sensitive (classified) information" and even the crewmember would not like to know how much radiation they were exposed to. Space conditions are also said to affect the crewmen's sperm count. 

"The Russians said the most vulnerable area is the sleeping cabin so the crew do not like to sleep there," said Dr Zulkeffeli. 

For active protection, the crew wear protective clothing and the ISS shell has aluminium coating and a shield to deflect solar radiation. 

"The ISS' positioning according to the sun location on each orbit is also to protect against solar radiation and not only to position the ISS solar panel," he said. 

He added that the solar activity was monitored minute-by-minute by ground control staff who predicted the level to position the ISS away from exposure.

 

Source: The Star Online


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
CCI PROVIDES INTERNATIONAL LAUNCH COVERAGE
Topic: - Other Reports

Communications Concepts Inc. is providing television coverage and satellite relay worldwide for the space flight of Malaysian astronaut Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, who returns to Earth on Saturday.

CCI will be doing feeds both from its Cape Canaveral studio and Russia.

Coverage of the nine-day event is broadcast on a channel exclusively set up on Malaysian television. The channel includes launch coverage, live video messages from ISS and the return to Earth with the Expedition 15 crew of ISS.

CCI produced two one-hour documentaries and shot interviews with the Malaysian astronaut candidates in Houston, Texas, while there for NASA training. CCI also hired an American astronaut to serve as space expert in Kuala Lumpur for the duration of the mission.

"We've had a lot of VIPs come through our facilities in Cape Canaveral over the years, but when the Malaysian minister of science and technology arrived here for the contract meetings with his entourage in an actual motorcade, it was like something out of a movie," says CCI General Manager Jim Lewis.

CCI is a Florida-based, audiovisual communications company headquartered in Cape Canaveral with a new HD facility located at Universal Studios Orlando.

 

Source: Orlando Business Journal


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
ASTRONAUTS' WELL-BEING CLOSELY MONITORED
Topic: - The Experiments

The control room at the Mission Control Centre, Moscow, with large screens showing the position of the International Space Station, its location in relation to earth and scenes inside the station.

THE International Space Station may be more than 350km above Earth but the well-being of astronauts on board is closely monitored by the Mission Control Centre in Moscow.

The Mission Control Centre (MCC), located 31km away from the Russian capital, has detailed screens and monitors to keep tabs on atmospheric conditions in the International Space Station (ISS).

Angkasawan programme director Kol Dr Zulkeffeli Mat Jusoh said even the temperature in the ISS was controlled from MCC.

"MCC will detect changes in the activity levels on the ISS and adjust the temperature accordingly. Whenever there is an increase in activity, the temperature will be reduced.

"This is to ensure that astronauts are as comfortable as possible -- life on the ISS should be conducive for them to work as some of them stay up there for months," he told Malaysian journalists yesterday.
Due to the controlled temperature, astronauts on the ISS never sweat.

"They don't have to take showers - they just wipe themselves down."

Dr Zulkeffeli, who is also the flight surgeon, added that radiation levels were also monitored from MCC.

"As part of an experiment with the Japanese Space Agency, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor will be wearing a dosimeter - which measures radiation - inside his clothes.

"Astronauts are exposed to about five times the radiation of an X-ray but only the MCC will know the exact extent of exposure," he said.

"The shell of the ISS is coated with an aluminium shield which deflects the sun's rays, particularly when there are solar explosions on the sun's surface.

"The positioning of the ISS is also based on the location of the sun so as to minimise solar radiation," added Dr Zulkeffeli.

Microgravity also affects the body, he said.

"We're stable when our bodies are upright on Earth, but in microgravity, our blood flow and bodily fluids are re-distributed. We tend to urinate more in space."

In his latest private medical conference on Tuesday, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar had informed him he was sleeping better.

"While he could only manage six and a half hours' sleep during his first few days on the ISS, he's now able to sleep eight hours. He's in good health, although he mentioned some back pain, which is normal.

"He also seems to enjoy fruit juice more than plain water now."

Apart from the experiments conducted for Malaysian scientists, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar is also involved in experiments for the European Space Agency.

"One of them, the 'eye tracking device' experiment, studies visual vestibular mismatch, which is the extent one's eye movements and natural balance are affected by microgravity and how this can trigger motion sickness in space."

 

Source: The New Straits Times Online


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Wednesday, 17 October 2007
SHEIKH MUSZAPHAR HELPS IN RESEARCH FOR OTHER COUNTRIES
Topic: - The Experiments

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian astronaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha, who is currently at the International Space Station (ISS), is also assisting the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in their research.

National Angkasawan Programme Director Col Dr Zulkeffeli Mat Jusoh said the research involved the effects of microgravity and solar radiation on the astronaut's body system.

"The ESA research is on the effects of microgravity on the back portion of the body, movement perception, resilience before and after the ISS trip and the stability of visibility and the body," he told Bernama when contacted in Moscow today.

The JAXA study is on the level of exposure to radiation by the astronaut in space.

"JAXA introduced a gadget which is placed in the astronaut's shirt pocket to study the radiation level," he said.

All the studies conducted by Dr Sheikh Muszaphar will be brought back for analysis to their countries of origin be it Russia, Japan or Malaysia.

He said Dr Sheikh Muszaphar was in good health and could conduct all the experiments entrusted to him.

Dr Zulkeffeli said his sleeping hours had also stabilised at eight hours daily compared to six hours previously and that he also performed daily prayers.

He said plans to welcome back Malaysia's first astronaut would be made in stages starting tomorrow.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar and two Russian astronauts are expected to land on Oct 21
.

 

Source: Bernama.com


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
CALL TO TAKE UP ROCKET SCIENCE
Topic: - The Prog. - Future

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor hopes the younger generation will take up space engineering to enable the country to build its own rocket one day.  

He also said he hoped more Malaysian astronauts would be born. 

"I hope this will be a new era for all Malaysians," he said via a 15-minute videoconferencing session with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from the International Space Station yesterday.  

Abdullah had asked him on his experience that he had gained from being sent into space. 

On the progress of his experiments, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar said everything was progressing well and on time. 

He said it was great working with the crew at the ISS and both the Russian and Americans were helping him all the time.

SPACE TALK: Abdullah and Jeanne being interviewed by Astro's Angkasa1 host Nizal Mohammad before the Prime Minister spoke to Dr Sheikh Muszaphar live via videoconferencing yesterday.

"They believe that we (Malaysians) are capable of becoming professional Angkasawan," he said.  

He told Abdullah that he was jotting down notes from the day he started training. Abdullah had asked him to keep a diary of his experiences so that a book could be produced. 

He said he could carry out his duties as a Muslim and had no problem praying.  

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar also read the Rukunegara and held up a mini Jalur Gemilang as well as the country’s 50th anniversary emblem.  

Abdullah wished Dr Sheikh Muszaphar "Selamat Hari Raya" on behalf of all Malaysians and said he was glad that the videoconferencing went through after the first one was dashed due to a transmission hitch from Moscow on Sunday.  

Abdullah's wife Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah, who also participated in the videoconference, said as a mother, she wanted to know if Dr Sheikh Muszaphar was eating well and if the other crew members enjoyed the Malaysian food that was sent up there.  

He replied: "I am eating well and my health is great. The crew enjoyed the food." 

She told him to take care and that all Malaysians were looking forward to his homecoming.

 

Source: The Star Online


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
'NEW KID' FITS IN WELL AT ISS
Topic: - P4 - On ISS

MOSCOW: Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor may be a new kid on the block at the International Space Station but his crew members are impressed with him. 

Head of the scientific team Prof Dr A. Rahman A. Jamal said the Russians were impressed with his ability to adapt to space conditions and conduct the experiments with ease. 

"They are impressed that he understood clearly the whole experiment process."  

"Credit goes to him and the team who made it simple for him to carry out the experiments," he said. 

Dr Rahman added that feedback from the Russians monitoring the ISS from the Mission Control Centre in Moscow was important as the experiments were the core goal of the national space programme. 

Yesterday, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar terminated the liver cancer and leukaemia cell experiments while those on human umbilical vein endothelial cell (for inflammation) and osteopath (for bone loss) would end on the last day onboard the ISS. 

Dr Rahman said the experiments had gone well although it was not easy to do them using a floating plastic glove box. 

"Even when he helped (flight engineer) Yuri Malenchencko repair the eye-tracking device, it just involves screws but the process in space takes four times longer than on earth."  

"The job is recorded as a major component of the crew activities," he said. 

Dr Rahman said results of all the experiments were of interest to international scientists, adding that University of Osaka was keen in the protein crystallisation experiment while the University of Colorado had assisted in preparations for the cells and microbes experiments. 

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar has a tight schedule onboard the ISS including taking photographs of his activities with help from his crew members. 

He also spends time downloading the pictures to be sent to the MCC. He continues with his symbolic activities including 14 that are symbolic to Malaysia.

 

Source: The Star Online


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
MUSZAPHAR IMPRESSES CREW MEMBERS
Topic: - P4 - On ISS

DR Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor has received the thumbs up from his fellow crew members, who are impressed with his handling of the experiments assigned to him.

Head of the Malaysian scientific delegation Prof Dr A. Rahman A. Jamal said the Russians at Mission Control Centre were impressed with the competence of Malaysia's first man in space.

"Since the International Space Station is a research facility, those on board view the experiments seriously.

"From the feedback I received, they were impressed with Dr Muszaphar's understanding and execution of the experiments."

Rahman said scientific experiments were harder to conduct in space.

"On Earth, the same experiments can be concluded within 20 minutes. Due to the effects of microgravity, the procedures may take up to four times longer."

He said credit should go to both Dr Muszaphar and the scientists in charge of each experiment.

"This shows that Malaysian scientists have trained him well and that he fully comprehends the procedures."

"Each stage of the experiments has to follow a specific timetable and that is another aspect that Dr Muszaphar has performed satisfactorily."

Of the three main experiments - Microbes in Space, Cells in Space and Protein Crystallisation in Space - one has been concluded.

The studies on cells in space and protein crystallisation are continuing.

On Monday, Dr Muszaphar successfully completed his task of repairing the space station's eye tracking device with cosmonaut Yuri Malechenko.

"It is a major component of the International Space Station and he did a good job," said Rahman.

Dr Muszaphar also marked several symbolic items, such as a scroll with the Rukun Negara, two Malaysian flags and Angkasawan programme patches, with the stamp of the space station.

These items will be be put on display at the National Planetarium upon his return.

 

Source: The New Straits Times Online


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
ASTRONAUT HOPES MORE WILL TAKE UP SPACE TECHNOLOGY
Topic: - Dr Sheikh

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (inset) videoconferencing with Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor at the International Space Station.
KUALA LUMPUR: The country's first man in space wants to see more Malaysians sharing a similar experience beyond the stars.

A beaming Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor told Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that he hoped that Malaysia would have the capability to one day build its own rocket.

"This is a new era for Malaysians. I also hope my experience will encourage more Malaysian students to take up space technology."

Dr Muszaphar was speaking with Abdullah via videoconferencing at Astro last night.

"I want to wish you Selamat Hari Raya and also on behalf of my wife and the people of Malaysia as I couldn't do it the other day due to transmission problems," said Abdullah.

The 15-minute videoconferencing saw Abdullah posing a number of questions to Dr Muszaphar with regard to his health, conditions on space and his experiments.

"Now that you are in the space station, do you feel that the training received in Russia was adequate or would you have wished for additional training?" asked Abdullah.

Dr Muszaphar said it was his seventh day in space and that the training in Russia was a big help in making his mission a success.

Abdullah wanted to know the progress of his experiments and Dr Muszaphar said the experiments he was conducting at the International Space Station were on schedule, and that scientists in Moscow would also be helping him.

Among the experiments is to grow liver cancer and leukaemia cells in microgravity. He will also perform two experiments on microbes and protein crystallisation in space, from which the results could be used to develop industrial applications.

To Abdullah's question on his working relationship with the other astronauts, Dr Muszaphar said that the Russian and American crew members were helpful.

"They believe Malaysians can become professional angkasawan," he said during the the 15-minute chat with Abdullah.

Dr Muszaphar also thanked Malaysians and read the Rukun Negara.

He also spun a Merdeka anniversary trinket bearing the Malaysian flag in mid air, much to Abdullah's amusement.

"Thank you-lah for bringing those things with you to remind you of being a Malaysian," Abdullah said, laughing.

Abdullah's wife, Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah, was also present, and asked after the spaceman's diet and he said he was eating well and was healthy.

 

Source: The New Straits Times Online


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
PM GETS HIS WISH TO SPEAK TO DR SHEIKH MUSZAPHAR
Topic: - P4 - On ISS

CONTACT: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in a live-teleconference with Angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha who is now at the International Space Station. - PHOTO: Md Mudanoran

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi finally got his wish to speak to Malaysian angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha when connection was established with the International Space Station (ISS) via video-conferencing from Astro's Studio 7 at 9pm today.

"I still want to wish you Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and also on behalf of my wife and the people of Malaysia as I couldn't do it the other day due to a transmission problem," said Abdullah who was clearly excited to see Dr Sheikh Muszaphar floating as he spoke to the Prime Minister from the ISS.

The 15-minute video conferencing saw Abdullah posing a number of questions to Dr Sheikh Muszaphar with regards to his health, conditions on space and his experiments.

"Now that you are in the space station, do you feel that the training given in Russia was adequate or you would have wished for additional training," asked Abdullah.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar, who thanked the Prime Minister and Malaysians, replied that it was his seventh day in space and that the training in Russia was a big help in making his mission a success.

The Prime Minister, who was with his wife Datin Seri Jeanne Abdullah, thanked Dr Sheikh Muszaphar for making Malaysia proud and displaying the true identity of a Malaysian in space.

"This means you will be able to undertake the responsibilities given to you to do some experiments as well and we look forward to you bringing back some of the specimens," said Abdullah.

The Prime Minister also asked Dr Sheikh Muszaphar whether he had any problems in performing his praying routines to which he replied that there was none and that the guidelines from the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim) were useful.

Abdullah was also curious to know if Dr Sheikh Muszaphar's experiments were on schedule and if he had recorded all his day-to-day activities to be published in a book for future reference to which the angkasawan said he had recorded every detail in his laptop to be shared by everybody upon his return to earth on Oct 21.

A concerned Abdullah also wanted to know if he had any health problems since his blast off till now and congratulated Dr Sheikh Muszaphar for doing a good job.

The prime minister also extended his regards to the rest of the crew at the ISS for their help rendered.

Meanwhile, Jeanne asked Dr Sheikh Muszaphar whether he was eating well and enjoying the food he had taken with him and wished him a safe homecoming.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar together with Russian astronaut Yuri Malenchenko and Commander Peggy Whitson of the United States are crew members of the Soyuz TMA-11 which blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Oct 10.

The Soyuz docked with the ISS at 10.52pm Malaysian time on Oct 12 and the crew joined Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov and Clay Anderson, three crew of the previous mission to the ISS.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar, an orthopaedic surgeon, will carry out four experiments drawn up by Malaysian scientists including a study of the effects of microgravity and space radiation on cells and microbes.

He is scheduled to return to Earth on Oct 21 with two Russian astronauts Yurchikhin and Kotov while Malenchenko and Whitson will stay on
.

 

Source: Bernama.com. A text-only version also appeared in Daily Express News Online later on Oct. 17, 2007


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
DR SHEIKH MUSZAPHAR ENTITLED TO BE CALLED A SCIENTIST
Topic: - Dr Sheikh

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha is also entitled to be called a scientist.

KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha is not only an astronaut but is also entitled to be called a scientist, a Malaysian scientist said Tuesday.

"He (Dr Sheikh Muszaphar) is called an astronaut because he has travelled into outer space but we must not forget that he is also a scientist because he is trained to conduct scientific research in space," said Tan Sri Dr Ahmad Zaharudin Idrus, former science advisor to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"Although Dr Sheikh Muszaphar is an orthopaedic surgeon, his knowledge as a scientist is beyond question," he told reporters here today.

Dr Ahmad Zaharudin, who was also science advisor to former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was confident that Dr Sheikh Muszaphar would not encounter any problems in carrying out his tasks -- conducting research into the crystallisation of protein and microbes or bacteria during his stay at the International Space Station (ISS).

Dr Ahmad Zaharudin, who is now the chairman of Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation Sdn Bhd, said Dr Sheikh Muszaphar would continue to conduct research once he is back on Earth.

He said that the data to be collected by Dr Sheikh Muszaphar from the experiments aboard the ISS was very important to research work carried out at six local universities including Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM).

They (experiments) were to explore new scientific frontiers and could be used as reference by other scientists, he said, adding that Malaysians should be proud that local scientists were at par with their foreign counterparts.

However, he hoped that Malaysian scientists would communicate more with those outside Malaysia by publishing their work in foreign journals.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar, 35, blasted off into outer space on board a Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft on Oct 10 together with American astronaut Peggy Whitson and Russian aerospace engineer Yuri Malenchenko from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

In doing so, he created history by becoming the first Malaysian to go into space.

The Soyuz TMA-11 docked with the ISS on Friday. Dr Sheikh Muszaphar is due to return to Earth on October 21
.

 

Source: Bernama.com


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
"THE LONGEST EIGHT MINUTES OF MY LIFE" - DR SHEIKH MUSZAPHAR
Topic: - P2 - Launch

KUALA LUMPUR: "The eight minutes that the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft took to enter the orbit seemed the longest moments of my life," Malaysian angkasawan (Malay for astronaut) Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha told Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis from the ISS via video conferencing held at Astro's Studio 7 here Monday.

The event which was telecast live by Astro and local television stations showed Dr Sheikh Muszaphar clearly in high spirits and looking cheerful while answering questions posed Dr Jamaludin, who is the Science, Technology and Innovations Minister.

"I'm enjoying and cherishing every moment of my stay at the ISS and wish I could stay here longer," said Dr Sheikh Muszaphar when asked how he was adjusting to the new environment.

The video conferencing that lasted about 10 minutes also gave Malaysians an opportunity see Dr Sheikh Muszaphar's mobility inside the ISS in microgravity and also hear Russian astronaut Yuri Malenchenko greet Malaysians.

Flight Engineer Malenchenko and Commander Peggy Whitson of the United States were the other crew members of the Soyuz TMA-11 that brought Dr Sheikh Muszaphar to the ISS. It blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Oct 10.

The Soyuz successfully docked with the ISS at 10.52pm Malaysian time on Oct 12 and the crew joined Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov and Clay Anderson, three crew of the previous mission to the ISS, Expedition 15, at about 12.33pm Malaysian time.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar said his experiment on proteins for a potential HIV vaccine was completed today and that he would be involved in a second experiment tomorrow.

During the expedition, he will carry out four experiments drawn up by Malaysian scientists including a study of the effects of microgravity and space radiation on cells and microbes.

"The other members of the expedition have been very helpful to me in every aspect and whatever success I achieve here will not be mine alone but the nation's, after 50 years of Independence," he said.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar is to return to Earth on Oct 21 with two Russians astronauts, Commander Yurchikhin and Kotov of the current ISS crew while Whitson and Malenchenko will stay on.

He became the first Malaysian to go into space through a programme conceived in 2003 when Russia agreed to send a Malaysian to the ISS as part of Malaysia's RM3.4 billion purchase of 18 Russian-made Sukhoi jet fighters.

Meanwhile, Jamaludin said that he would propose to the Cabinet to declare Oct 10 each year as "Hari Angkasawan" (Astronaut's Day).

"We will hold special events to mark this momentous occassion and have an exhibition gallery where Malaysians can get to see close hand our space exploits," he said.

He added that a teleconferencing had been scheduled for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi with Dr Sheikh Muszaphar tomorrow following the one to be had between them yesterday having to be aborted
.

 

Source: Bernama.com


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
LONGEST 8 MINUTES FOR MUSZA
Topic: - P2 - Launch

KUALA LUMPUR: "The eight minutes that the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft took to enter the orbit seemed the longest moments of my life," Malaysian angkasawan (Malay for astronaut) Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha told Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis from the ISS via video conferencing held at Astro's Studio 7 here, Monday.

The event which was telecast live by Astro and local television stations showed Dr Sheikh Muszaphar clearly in high spirits and looking cheerful while answering questions posed Dr Jamaludin, who is the Science, Technology and Innovations Minister.

"I'm enjoying and cherishing every moment of my stay at the ISS and wish I could stay here longer," said Dr Sheikh Muszaphar when asked how he was adjusting to the new environment.

The video conferencing that lasted about 10 minutes also gave Malaysians an opportunity to see Dr Sheikh Muszaphar's mobility inside the ISS in microgravity and also hear Russian astronaut Yuri Malenchenko greet Malaysians.

Flight Engineer Malenchenko and Commander Peggy Whitson of the United States were the other crew members of the Soyuz TMA-11 that brought Dr Sheikh Muszaphar to the ISS. It blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Oct. 10.

The Soyuz successfully docked with the ISS at 10.52pm Malaysian time on Oct. 12 and the crew joined Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov and Clay Anderson, three crew of the previous mission to the ISS, Expedition 15, at about 12.33pm Malaysian time.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar said his experiment on proteins for a potential HIV vaccine was completed and he would be involved in a second experiment tomorrow.

During the expedition, he will carry out four experiments drawn up by Malaysian scientists, including a study of the effects of microgravity and space radiation on cells and microbes.

"The other members of the expedition have been very helpful to me in every aspect and whatever success I achieve here will not be mine alone but the nation's, after 50 years of Independence," he said.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar is to return to Earth on Oct 21 with two Russians astronauts, Commander Yurchikhin and Kotov of the current ISS crew while Whitson and Malenchenko will stay on.

He became the first Malaysian to go into space through a programme conceived in 2003 when Russia agreed to send a Malaysian to the ISS as part of Malaysia's RM3.4 billion purchase of 18 Russian-made Sukhoi jet fighters.

 

Source: Daily Express, Sabah (Malaysia) Online


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
CHAT WITH FIRST MALAYSIAN ASTRONAUT LEAVES YOUNGSTERS MOTIVATED
Topic: - P4 - On ISS

Twenty four schoolchildren were motivated to study harder after speaking with Malaysian first astronaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor on Monday, local media reported on Tuesday.

The schoolchildren, from Kuala Lumpur, spent about 9 minutes chatting with Muszaphar about his time in space, the New Straits Times reported.

"The radio contact with Dr Muszaphar was a success," said National Space Agency director-general Mazlan Othman.

Under the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station program, a direct radio link between the National Planetarium satellite ground station and the ISS was made at 1:19 a.m. on Monday.

Muszaphar and 3 other finalists were trained for more than a year by the National Space Agency before the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission granted them licenses.

Muszaphar was doing well, Mazlan said after speaking to him.

It was the experience of a lifetime for the students who took turns asking Muszaphar questions.

Fourteen-year-old Michele Fernandez Joseph was ecstatic, saying that her interest in science, especially astronomy, had deepened
.

 

Source: Xinhua as cited @ People's Daily Online (English)


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
FIRST MALAYSIAN IN SPACE: RAYA DELICACIES SHARED IN SPACE
Topic: - P4 - On ISS

KUALA LUMPUR: For the first time ever, rendang, briyani and kuih bangkit were served at the International Space Station.

Malaysia's first man in space, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, served the dishes on Sunday to celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri with the crew at the ISS.

Dr Muszaphar also brought dried mango and banana cake from Malaysia.

"They loved the food although some are not into spicy food. I'm very happy to bring our Malaysian culture here," he said via video conference from the ISS with Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis, who was at the Astro office in Technology Park Malaysia.

Dr Muszaphar said he was amazed at the sight that greeted him when he looked out of the window of the ISS.

"The first time I saw Earth from space, it was just amazing. I was touched by the magnificent sight."

He also expressed disappointment at not being able to speak to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Sunday due to some technical problems.

Dr Muszaphar said he was getting along well with the other crew members who were very helpful.

"They helped me with my movements in a microgravity area which is very difficult. I went to sleep last night and woke up in a different area in the morning."

Jamaludin said he would suggest to the cabinet to make Oct 10 (the day Dr Muszaphar lifted off to space) the National Angkasawan Day.

 

Source: The New Straits Times Online


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
FIRST MALAYSIAN IN SPACE: 9-MINUTE CHAT LEAVES YOUNGSTERS MOTIVATED
Topic: - P4 - On ISS

KUALA LUMPUR: "We want to be angkasawan, too, just like Dr Muszaphar!"

Malaysia's first astronaut is an inspiration to schoolchildren who dream of following in his footsteps.

And 24 schoolchildren were motivated to study harder to realise that dream after speaking with Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor yesterday morning.

The schoolchildren, from SMK Vivekananda Brickfields and SMK Aminuddin Baki, spent about nine minutes chatting to Dr Muszaphar about his time in space.

"The radio contact with Dr Muszaphar was a success," said National Space Agency director-general Datuk Dr Mazlan Othman.

Under the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station programme, a direct radio link between the National Planetarium satellite ground station and the ISS was made at 1.19am.

Dr Muszaphar and the three other finalists in the selection to go to space are certified amateur radio operators, or ham radio operators.

They were trained for more than a year by the National Space Agency before the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission granted them their licences.

A video conference scheduled on Sunday at 9.04pm between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Dr Muszaphar was called off due to a technical glitch at the Mission Control Centre, 31km from Moscow.

Dr Muszaphar was doing well, Mazlan said after speaking to him.

"He enjoyed his Hari Raya food package, which included rendang tok and satay, with the other crew members."

It was the experience of a lifetime for the students who took turns asking Dr Muszaphar questions.

Fourteen-year-old Michele Fernandez Joseph was ecstatic, saying that her interest in science, especially astronomy, had deepened.

Mohd Danial Faiq, 17, said he would always remember those precious few seconds.

Yesterday's communication was the first of four sessions.

Radio contact will be made for SK Bukit Damansara (tomorrow, 12.28am), SM Sri Bistari (Thursday, 11.39pm) and SMK Kiaramas (Sunday, 10.50pm).

 

Source: THe New Straits Times Online


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
MALAYSIAN SURPRISED TO STOMACH SPACE FLIGHT - SHUKOR FINDS VIEW "AMAZING"
Topic: - P2 - Launch

CAPE CANAVERAL: The first Malaysian in space adapted well to weightlessness and says the view of Earth from the International Space Station is stunning.

Some 70 percent of astronauts suffer from space motion sickness during their first 24 to 48 hours in weightlessness. But Shiekh Muszaphar Shukor, an orthopedic doctor chosen from 11,000 candidates for a round-trip to the station, told reporters in a space-to-ground news conference Monday that he has not felt sick during his first six days in microgravity.

A FIRST FOR MALAYSIA - Malaysia's first cosmonaut Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, seen here before the Oct. 10 launch of a Russian Soyuz rocket, says his first view of Earth from space "was so spectacular that my heart stopped beating and my eyes stopped blinking." - AP

"You know what? I'm actually quite surprised how I responded to space. I was expecting much worse than this," Shukor said.

"When I first arrived to microgravity in space, I didn't really have the feeling for any vomiting, dizziness or anything like that. So I feel really great. I feel fantastic right now."

Shukor is flying under a $25 million contract between the Malaysian government and the Russian Federal Space Agency that's part of a larger, $900 million deal for 18 Russian military jet fighters.

A Muslim flying during the holy month of Ramadan, Shukor was excused from dawn-to-dusk fasting by Malaysian clerics, but he does face Earth, and thus Mecca, during daily prayers.

"The first time I looked out the window and I saw the view of Earth, it was such an amazing feeling. It was so spectacular that my heart stopped beating and my eyes stopped blinking," Shukor said. "It was such an amazing feeling to see and feel how close I am to God's creation, and I do hope to come back and share all of my experiences with all of the people all over the world."

Shukor traveled to the international outpost aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft launched Wednesday from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. He was accompanied by the core of the 16th resident crew of the station -- U.S. astronaut Peggy Whitson and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko.

Shukor will carry out a series of science experiments and photograph the Earth during his nine-day stint at the station. He will return to Earth on Sunday with two departing Expedition 15 crew members, current outpost commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and flight engineer Oleg Kotov, who have been living and working on the outpost since April.

The third Expedition 15 crew member -- NASA astronaut Clay Anderson -- is scheduled to fly home with the crew of shuttle Discovery about Nov. 6.

Whitson, who served as the first science officer on the station during the fifth expedition to the station in 2002, will take the helm of the outpost on Friday. She will be the first female outpost commander.

U.S. astronaut Pam Melroy, meanwhile, is scheduled to lead a station assembly crew on a mission to deliver the U.S. Harmony module to the outpost later this month.

That flight is set for launch on Oct. 23 and if all goes as planned, it will be the first time two women have simultaneously commanded space missions.

 

Source: Florida Today


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
SHEIKH MUSZAPHAR ALSO ASSISTING OTHER CREW MEMBERS ON THE ISS
Topic: - P4 - On ISS

Apart from doing his own experiments, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor has been tasked with helping to repair equipment belonging to the European Space Agency. 

Speaking to Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis via videoconferencing from the International Space Station yesterday, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar said he took time off from his experiments to assist the other crew members. 

"The crew are really helpful, they are teaching me the techniques of gravity movement as I have been sleeping in one location and waking up in another." 

"I am really proud to be working with the Russians and Americans," he said. 

Dr Jamaluddin told him that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was really looking forward to speak to him and hoped it could be done today.

EARTH TO ISS: Dr Jamaluddin speaking to Dr Sheikh Muszaphar via video-conferencing which was shown live on Astro yesterday.
Dr Sheikh Muszaphar replied that it would be an honour to speak to the Prime Minister. 

"I can't wait to get back and share my experiences with all Malaysians, and I thank each and everyone for his support," he said. 

He said the view of Earth from the ISS was amazing, adding "my heart stopped beating and my eyes stopped blinking." 

Dr Jamaluddin also spoke to flight engineer Yuri Malechencko, who said he enjoyed the Malaysian food that Dr Sheikh Muszaphar brought. 

"I loved the banana roll and dried mango, the other food was a bit too spicy," Malechencko said. 

Dr Jamaluddin later told reporters he would propose to the Cabinet to declare Oct 10 each year as Hari Angkasawan. 

He said the Japanese wanted to have a joint venture with Malaysia, in which the Malaysian astronaut would conduct research and development, but due to time and limited experiments that could be conducted it was impossible. 

"We hope that when we send our second astronaut, this would be possible," he said.

 

Source: The Star Online


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
SYMBOLIC ITEMS TAKEN FOR STAMPING
Topic: - P4 - On ISS

 

Source: The Star Online


Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST

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