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- '08 Visits (Local)
- '08 Visits (O'seas)
- 6-Part Round-up
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- Challenges/Hurdles
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- In Memoriam
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- P1 - Pre-Launch
- P2 - Launch
- P3 - Dock
- P4 - On ISS
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- 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

A Compilation of News, Updates & Press Releases

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Saturday, 3 November 2007
Topic: - The Prog. - Future

Major Dr Faiz Khaleed (left) and Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor (centre) presenting a souvenir to Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
KUALA LUMPUR: The journey will be long and hard, but Major Dr Faiz Khaleed is raring to go to the next phase of his astronaut training and do the nation proud.

Touched and thankful that the government was considering him as a candidate for the next space mission, Dr Faiz said he would give his "100 per cent" to the space programme.

"I am willing to do much tougher training. There will be more challenges as the government wants to conduct more experiments and a space walk."

"I'm ready for it and my commitment is 100 per cent," he said after paying a courtesy call to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday.

Present at the meeting were the country's first astronaut, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, and Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Jamaludin Jarjis.

Russia has offered a place to Malaysia in the International Space Station (ISS) by 2010, based on the successful conclusion of Dr Sheikh Muszaphar's inaugural space programme with his landing on Oct 21.

Dr Faiz's said space training overseas would take three years.

Both he and Dr Sheikh Muszaphar will leave for Russia on Monday night for two weeks for an inauguration ceremony by the Russian National Space Agency (Roskosmos) to formally confer them the title of cosmonauts.

When they return, there are plans to send them to perform umrah with their families before going around the country to meet and greet the people.

Next year, they will have to undergo a three-month refresher course to maintain their fitness level and skills as cosmonauts.

National Angkasawan Programme director Col (Dr) Zulkeffeli Mat Jusoh said Russia had agreed that future flights by Malaysian astronauts would be more participative and this could include space walks.

Jamaludin said a memorandum of understanding on sending an angkasawan to the ISS by 2010 would be submitted to the Cabinet for deliberation next year.

It will include the confirmation of Malaysia's acceptance of Russia's invitation to send an astronaut to space and forging alliances with the aerospace industry.


Source: The Star Online

Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Topic: - The Prog. - Future

MELAKA: The country's first astronaut will tour the nation to share his experience with the people.

Science, Technology and Innovations Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Prof Mohd Ruddin Ab Ghani said the tour would probably start next month, after Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor had received his accreditation as an astronaut from the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, in Moscow.

Yesterday Dr Sheikh Muszaphar was reported as saying that he wanted to use his experience as an astronaut to encourage Malaysians, especially students, to take an interest in space science.

The country's first astronaut was in space for 11 days from October 10.

Mohd Ruddin said his ministry would collaborate with the Education Ministry to enable Dr Sheikh Muszaphar to meet the students nationwide



Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Friday, 2 November 2007
Topic: - Var. Formal Appear'ce

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi welcoming Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor and Major Dr Faiz Khaleed (left) at his office yesterday.
PUTRAJAYA: "You are heroes," were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's words of welcome to spacemen Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor and Maj Dr Faiz Khaleed.

Dr Muszaphar and Dr Faiz visited Abdullah yesterday at the prime minister's office to "report" to him after arriving home in Malaysia a few days ago.

Abdullah was briefed on Dr Muszaphar's mission to the International Space Station (ISS) and on the scientific experiments he conducted there.

"I'm glad to hear the specimens were all safe as they had quite a rough landing on Earth in the Soyuz craft," Abdullah said after the meeting.

He said Dr Muszaphar had done the nation proud and had achieved a big step for Malaysia by excelling in other fields.

Abdullah reiterated that Malaysia was keen on continuing the space programme and would consider future offers to send another astronaut into space.

"Dr Faiz is just as capable and he will be involved in the next mission.

"There could also be room for Dr Muszaphar to be involved again."

The two spacemen presented Abdullah with "souvenirs" from space: the mini Quran which Dr Muszaphar took with him to the ISS, a frame containing other objects which he also brought, such as a mini Jalur Gemilang and a copy of the Rukunegara, and a black leather jacket with the Angkasawan logo and Abdullah's name stitched on it.

"You are a hero," Abdullah said while shaking Dr Muszaphar's hand.

"You are a hero, too," he said as he shook Dr Faiz's hand.

The astronauts are to meet Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today at his office at the Defence Ministry.


Source: The New Straits Times Online

Posted by site editor at 1:41 PM JST
Topic: - Var. Formal Appear'ce

PUTRAJAYA: Angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor is a national hero who has proven that his trip to the International Space Station (ISS) was no tour but one filled with purpose, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. 

SPECIAL SOUVENIR: Abdullah putting on the leather jacket with the help of (from left) Dr Faiz, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar and Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis yesterday. - BERNAMA

The Prime Minister, who met Dr Sheikh Muszaphar and back-up Angkasawan Dr Faiz Khaleed at his office yesterday, spent more than an hour chatting with the duo about their training experiences and the trip into space. 

"It is certainly a lucky day because an Angkasawan came here. This is the first time that an astronaut has stepped foot in my office." 

"Dr Sheikh Muszaphar has done the country proud. You are Malaysia's hero. When can we see a heroine? Any volunteers?" he asked reporters who broke out in laughter. 

Abdullah said he was pleased that Dr Sheikh Muszaphar had carried out experiments while on the ISS and managed to bring home the specimens safely despite the Soyuz's rough landing. 

"We will also seriously consider Russia's offer to send a second Angkasawan to the ISS. Dr Faiz is equally capable."  

"There is also room for Dr Sheikh Muszaphar to participate in future space programmes in view of his experience," he said. 

Both Dr Sheikh Muszaphar and Dr Faiz handed Abdullah some souvenirs, including a small Quran that Dr Sheikh Muszaphar brought with him to the ISS. 

Abdullah also received memorabilia such as a mini Jalur Gemilang, a copy of the Rukun Negara and an emblem of the 50th Merdeka celebration, all of which Dr Sheikh Muszaphar had brought to the ISS. 

Other gifts to Abdullah were a signed photograph of Dr Sheikh Muszaphar and his two other crew members, as well as a special leather jacket given to participants of the astronaut training programme.


Source: The Star Online

Posted by site editor at 11:49 AM JST
Topic: - Astronaut/Tourist?

While there has been a lot of accolades and admiration for Malaysia's first astronaut, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha, some quarters however have doubts about his accomplishments.

They have referred to him as a space tourist - a lesser-qualified scientist lucky enough to be travelling onboard a rocket with seasoned astronauts and cosmonauts - who survived his time at the International Space Station (ISS).

Such hurtful comments have not escaped the ears of Dr Sheikh Muszaphar who said he did not take them to heart.

"It doesn't matter whether they call me a flight participant or a space tourist."

"I was allowed to go anywhere in the US and Russian modules because they trusted me."

"They regarded me as a professional astronaut in space, and what the astronauts and cosmonauts think are more important," he told a press conference at the Defence Ministry here today.

He said the European Space Agency had entrusted him to repair an equipment on the ISS, a task usually given to trained professionals.

"The Russians recognised me as a cosmonaut researcher and an astronaut, but what's also important is that I am recognised as an astronaut by fellow Malaysians," he said.

On a lighter note, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar described the view of Earth from outer space as spectacular.

"It's not like you can look at it and say, 'Oh, I've seen this before'." Night and day alternated every 45 minutes.

"Time flies by so fast in space. The beauty of what I had seen is simply unforgettable, so I wrote down every feeling I had, which I hope I can share with all of you soon," he said



Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Topic: - Var. Formal Appear'ce

KUALA LUMPUR: Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin today granted an audience to Malaysia's first astronaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha and astronaut-to-be Maj Dr Faiz Khaleed at Istana Terengganu here.

The 30-minute meeting was also attended by Science, Technology and Innovations Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, the ministry's secretary-general Datuk Abdul Hanan Alang Endut and four scientists involved in preparing and analysing the experiments in space by Dr Sheikh Muszaphar.

Tuanku Mizan enquired from the astronaut about his mission and experience at the International Space Station (ISS).

The King also had a closer look at the items brought by Dr Sheikh Muszaphar to the ISS, including a small Quran, the Jalur Gemilang (national flag), Jalur Gemilang sticker, 50th Merdeka anniversary logo, a copy of the Rukunegara, and an envelope and logo of the Malaysian Space Programme.

Jamaluddin said Tuanku Mizan had asked Dr Faiz to continue to train hard in order to be well prepared for his space mission scheduled for 2010.

He said the King also hoped that the scientists would use the country's second space mission to enhance Malaysia's contribution to the space industry



Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Thursday, 1 November 2007
Topic: - The Prog. - Future

PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia has taken a giant step forward in the field of space industry following the successful space mission carried out by the country's first astronaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha, said Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The prime minister said the success of the endeavour boosted Malaysia's resolve to derive further benefits from the industry.

"He (Dr Sheikh Muszaphar) has enabled the country to stand tall," he told a joint news conference with Dr Sheikh Muszaphar and Malaysia's other astronaut Major Dr Faiz Khaleed, at the Prime Minister's Office here today.

Abdullah said that although Dr Sheikh Muszaphar's space sojourn was brief and the Soyuz space capsule had encountered technical problems during landing, the specimens of the space experiments performed by the Malaysian spaceman were intact and could be studied by scientists.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar spent 11 days in space conducting experiments on the International Space Station before returning to earth on Oct 21.

On Russia's offer to send the second Malaysian astronaut into space, Abdullah said the government would have to look at, among others, the cost involved, the benefits to be derived and what had been achieved by the country's first spaceman.

The prime minister said Dr Sheikh Muszaphar was likely to be involved in future space missions.

Abdullah said the spaceman had informed him that so much good had come out of the space expedition not only for himself but also for the country.

The two astronauts were accompanied by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis.

Meanwhile, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar took the opportunity to present mementoes to Abdullah - a copy of the Quran he had brought to the ISS, a special leather jacket and items related to the space mission.

"I managed to read 40 pages of the Quran while on the ISS," the spaceman said while handing over the Muslim holy book to the prime minister.

As Dr Sheikh Muszaphar was helping Abdullah to put on the jacket, the prime minister jokingly said: "I feel that I'm an astronaut but this one doesn't go into space. You're our hero... when can we get our heroine."

Abdullah then turned to Dr Faiz and said: "You too can be our hero."



Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Monday, 29 October 2007
Topic: - In Memoriam

Final prayers Angkasawan Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor offering prayers at the grave of his brother Sheikh Mustafa at the Tuan Haji Said Muslim burial ground in Seremban yesterday. His nephew Sheikh Aiman Shukor seems unaware of the loss of his father. It was a sad homecoming for Sheikh Muszaphar following the elation of being the first Malaysian in space. - LOW BOON TAT/ The Star
SEREMBAN: The family laid his brother to rest in the afternoon and it was a heartbreaking homecoming for space hero Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, who arrived several hours after the funeral. 

Fighting back tears, the astronaut hugged his father, Datuk Sheikh Mustapha Abdul Shukor, as soon as he arrived at the Negri Sembilan state mosque here from the KL International Airport.

Younger brother Sheikh Mustafa, 32, went into a coma and died at the University Malaya Medical Centre after falling and hitting his head against a pillar at a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday. 

The family went ahead with the funeral after receiving news that Sheikh Muszaphar's flight from Moscow, via Bangkok, would be delayed for three hours. 

His brother's remains were brought from the family home in Petaling Jaya at 12.55pm and buried at the Tuan Haji Said Muslim burial ground here after zohor prayers at 2.30pm yesterday.  

Present were his three other brothers, Sheikh Ahmad, 37, Sheikh Taufiq, 36, and Sheikh Arwiz, 29. 

Malaysia's first man in space, who was earlier scheduled to arrive at the KLIA at 2.10pm, touched down at the KLIA only at 5.30pm. 

A convoy of six cars accompanied him here from the airport, where about 200 well-wishers had also waited to receive him.  

The grand hero's welcome that was earlier planned has been postponed to three days after his brother's funeral. 

The homecoming was emotional and from the moment Sheikh Muszaphar arrived at the state mosque, three-year-old Sheikh Aiman Shukor who had just lost a father, clung on to his uncle. 

At the burial ground, the astronaut met his mother, Datin Zuraida Sheikh Ahmad, and his brother's widow, Haryati Redza, to console them over the family's loss. 

At the KLIA, many had waited from as early as 6am to catch a glimpse of Malaysia's first astronaut and to offer their well wishes as well as condolences. 

Present at the airport to receive him were former National Space Agency director-general Datuk Dr Mazlan Othman and officials of various ministries, Mimos president Datuk Abdul Wahab Abdullah and Astronautic Technology Sdn Bhd chief executive director Dr Ahmad Sabirin Arshad. 

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar had to push his way through the crowd as he came out of the VIP lounge after his arrival, escorted by policemen, UMNO members and university students. 

Speaking briefly to the media, he thanked all Malaysians who had prayed for his brother. 

"I feel empty and very sad but I understand that this is God's will." 

"However, I have to be strong, especially for my mother," he said before he was swiftly taken away in a silver Proton Perdana at the airport entrance. 

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar is expected to return to Moscow by Nov 6 or 7, as there would be an inauguration ceremony for him at Star City, Moscow on Nov 9.


Source: The Star Online

Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Topic: - In Memoriam

KUALA LUMPUR: It all happened all of a sudden. Workers at a restaurant in Taman Abadi Indah, off Jalan Kelang Lama, saw a man collapse and several people ran to his aid. 

But they did not know what occurred moments before Sheikh Mustafa Shukor Al-Masrie, 32, fell. 

"All of sudden there was a man lying motionless on the ground."  

"We informed the police at a police beat, less than 100m away, who helped to send him to the hospital in an ambulance," said a worker, who declined to be named. 

It was reported that the brother of astronaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar had knocked his head against a pillar and immediately went into a coma. 

He died at the University Malaya Medical Centre here on Saturday. 

The worker said all the staff and workers there were shocked to learn later that the man had died without regaining consciousness after the fall. 

"All we learnt about his death were from news reports," he said, adding that they also found out from the papers that he was the brother of Malaysia's first Angkasawan.


Source: The Star Online

Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Topic: - In Memoriam

SEPANG: Malaysia's first man in space Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha returned to the country on Sunday, happy to have accomplished his mission well but sad over the death of his brother.

Soon after his arrival at the KL International Airport (KLIA) at 5.30pm, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor was whisked off to Seremban to visit the grave of his brother, Sheikh Mustapha Al Masrie, at the Tuan Haji Said Muslim cemetery.

Sheikh Mustafa Al Masrie, 32, had died on Saturday without regaining consciousness from a coma which he had lapsed into after hitting a pillar outside a restaurant in Jalan Klang Lama on Sunday.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor had missed the flight out of Bangkok after his flight from Russia was delayed and the brother's funeral had to go on in his absence.

He was greeted at the KLIA by Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Abd Hanan Alang Endot, about 100 Umno Youth members from the Sepang Branch and a number of students from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and UKM Hospital.

In Seremban, after visiting his brother's grave, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, told reporters he needed some time to recover from the sadness over his brother's death, and would return to inspire Malaysians with stories of his space venture.

He said his family, particularly his mother Datin Zuraidah Sheikh Ahmad, needed his support most of all now.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor had arrived at the state mosque at 6.15pm in a convoy of vehicles of the National Astronaut Programme and some policemen.

He was greeted by his father, Datuk Sheikh Mustapha, mother, elder brothers Sheikh Ahmad and Sheikh Taufik, and youngest brother Sheikh Arwiz and other close relatives.

He hugged his father and carried the son of his late brother, Sheikh Aiman Shukor, three.


Source: Daily Express News Online

Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Topic: - The Prog. - Future

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's first angkasawan may have completed his journey to space but for the country’s space programme, it is only the beginning of more exciting things to come.

The successful conclusion of Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor’s journey to space has shown that nothing is impossible if we believe and work for it.

What was a dream is now a reality and a legacy for future generations to build on.

The angkasawan programme began in 2003. Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had expressed the hope that he would one day see a Malaysian in space.

At that time, the notion that a Malaysian would ever reach the depths of space was too incredible to imagine.

But several years later, Dr Muszaphar has done just that.

When it was announced that he would be the first Malaysian to travel to space, an excited Dr Muszaphar had said: "I feel so lucky, I feel as though I’m living the dream of all Malaysians."

Indeed he was. Malaysians of all ages were glued to their television sets on Oct 10, waiting with bated breath for the Soyuz TMA-10 to lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 9.22pm.

The nine giant screens showing the live telecast at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre attracted about 1,800 viewers.

Many more offered their prayers for a safe journey for Dr Muszaphar from their living rooms.

Spontaneous cheers rang out and every Malaysian stood a little taller when the screen showed the handsome orthopaedic surgeon in the Soyuz TMA-10.

Despite attempts to discredit Dr Muszaphar as nothing more than a space tourist, he showed that he meant business and was not a mere visitor to the International Space Station.

He conducted research on three experiments under the life sciences category.

The Cells in Space experiment, on the effects of micro-gravity and space radiation on cancer cells, would shed light on cell behaviour and tissue repair.

Another experiment, called Microbes in Space, studied the effects of micro-gravity and space radiation on bacterial growth and drug resistance.

The Protein Crystallisation in Space compared the crystallisation of proteins in space with those crystallised on Earth to develop future industrial applications.

Dr Muszaphar was required to carry out each experiment based on a rigid timetable, which he did. He spent nine days on the ISS and returned to Earth on Oct 21.

After witnessing the launch, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had said the country’s space programme would continue with the help of the Russian Space Agency.

This was echoed by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who announced on Oct 21 that the agency had offered to send another Malaysian to the ISS in 2010 or 2011.

"The next mission will be a step up from the first mission," Najib had said, hinting at greater things for Major Dr Faiz Khaleed, the primary candidate for the next space flight.

When it was conceptualised, the angkasawan programme was meant to be a starting point to spur interest in science and technology.

The target of the programme are students, whom Abdullah had said would "ultimately realise all the dreams and aspirations we have for our nation".

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Jamaludin Jarjis echoed that in Moscow when he said: "The success of our first space mission will inspire Malaysian youth to learn more about space. It will open their minds and push them beyond limitations."

It is time for the thousands of Malaysian children who have followed Dr Muszaphar’s progress to dream their own dreams and make them a reality.


Source: The New Straits Times Online

Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Topic: - In Memoriam

PETALING JAYA: National spaceman Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha has dedicated his space mission to his brother "Ajil" whom he described as "a catalyst for his spirit and backbone of his success".

Ajil or Sheikh Mustapha Shukor Al-Masrie, 32, went into a coma after he hit a pillar outside a restaurant in Jalan Klang Lama on Sunday last week. He died at 6pm yesterday at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre without regaining consciousness.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor said the late Ajil had been encouraging him since the very beginning and his successful mission recently was a gift for him.

"It can be said that Ajil was my fanatic fan and since the start of my participation in the Spaceman Programme, he had given me a solid support."

"He was the one most excited when knowing I qualified for the programme," he told Bernama at his residence here tonight.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor looked calm during the interview but could not hide his disappointment for not being able to see Ajil for the last time before the funeral in Seremban at 2.30pm because he said: "the plane was having a problem."

Earlier reports said that on his way back from Russia, he missed a connecting Malaysia Airlines flight from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur and had to take the next flight, arriving in Kuala Lumpur at about 6pm.

He said that the last time he met Ajil was in June when he returned to Malaysia during a break in between his astronaut training.

"Ajil said to me that he would wait for my return however long it might take and could not wait to hear all my stories but... he could not see my return."

"I am very close to Ajil who is fourth and actually all five of us siblings are very close since we were small and often share all stories and problems," he said.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor said he received the news of Ajil fighting for his life from his father, Datuk Sheikh Mustapha Shukor, two days after he landed back on earth on Oct 20.

"I am sad and did not expect Ajil would leave us forever at his young age but this is a test from God; I accept His will; From He we came and to Him we will return."

"Nevertheless, I need to be strong to face this test especially after seeing my mother (Datin Zuraida Sheikh Ahmad) in extreme grief for the loss," he said.

He said Ajil was a far-sighted and ambitious person, ever ready to help others and eloquent in debates.

"Since we were small, Ajil was the smartest among the five of us and always, there were topics he wanted to speak of," he said.

"Ajil was mentally stronger than I am and he would not easily be broken or lose hope," Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor said.

Although he was still in grief, he said, he would return to Moscow on Nov 6 to complete his space research for all Malaysians.

"As I've said, for Ajil, I need to be strong because the whole country depends on me and this is my gift for him," he said.

Ajil left behind wife Haryati Redza, 29, and two children - Sheikh Aiman Shukor, three, and Siti Balkish Shukor, one



Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Topic: - In Memoriam

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor (second from left) with (from left) father Datuk Sheikh Mustapha Abdul Shukor, nephew Sheikh Aiman Shukor Al Masrie (on lap), mother Datin Zuraida Sheikh Ahmad and sister-in-law Haryati Mohd Redza praying at his younger brother's grave yesterday.

SEREMBAN: A flight delay stopped astronaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor from seeing his brother Sheikh Mustapha one last time before he was buried.

Dr Muszaphar, who rushed home from Moscow where he was under quarantine after returning from space, was scheduled to arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 2.10pm yesterday.

But bad weather held up his flight in Moscow which caused him to miss his connecting flight from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur.

He had to take the next flight which arrived at KLIA about 5.30pm. He went straight to the state mosque where his father, Datuk Sheikh Mustapha Abdul Shukor, was waiting before he was taken to the Tuan Haji Said cemetery where his younger brother was buried just hours earlier.

It was an emotional scene at the cemetery when Dr Muszaphar hugged his mother Datin Zuraida Sheikh Ahmad and consoled his brother's wife, Haryati Mohd Redza.

Dr Muszaphar comforting his sister-in-law Haryati Mohd Redza.

The family recited prayers at Mustapha's grave before Dr Muszaphar, who planned to return home today to visit his brother in hospital, sprinkled petals and scented water on the grave.

Dr Muszaphar said that although he was sad with his brother's passing, he accepted it as a test from Allah.

"I have to be strong for my family’s sake, especially my mother."

He dedicated his space mission to his brother "Ajil" whom he described as "a catalyst for his spirit and backbone of his success".

"It can be said that Ajil was my fanatic fan. Since the start of my participation in the space programme, he had given me solid support," Dr Muszaphar said.

Mustapha, 32, a project planner, fell unconscious after knocking into a pillar outside a restaurant last Friday in Jalan Klang Lama, Kuala Lumpur. He died at 6pm on Saturday without regaining consciousness.

Some 250 family members, relatives and friends attended the funeral.

Sheikh Mustapha said he spoke with Dr Muszaphar in the morning and it was decided that the funeral would proceed without him.

"He was calm when informed of the death. He asked me to take care of his mother."

Sheikh Mustapha said his astronaut son would stay for a few days to attend the official homecoming reception before returning to Moscow for an inauguration ceremony scheduled for Nov 9.

Haryati, 28, said her husband was looking forward to Dr Muszaphar’s return.

"He was really excited and was talking a lot about the space programme."

"However, a few days before the accident, he was very agitated and kept asking where abah (father) was," said Haryati.

She said Mustapha had initially said that he did not want Dr Muszaphar to go to space.

"It was as if he knew that they would never meet again," said Haryati, who has two children with Mustapha, aged 3 and 2.

At the airport, Dr Muszaphar was whisked into a waiting Proton Perdana moments after stepping out of the VIP arrival hall.

Waiting for him was a group of Umno Youth and Putera Umno members, who formed a barricade around him, and some 50 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia students.

As photographers jostled for pictures, Dr Muszaphar, asked for comments, said: "I feel very empty, very sad but this is God's will. What comes from Allah must go back to Him."


Source: The New Straits Times Online

Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Topic: - Dr Sheikh

KUALA LUMPUR: A grand welcome-home ceremony planned for Malaysia's first astronaut has been delayed after the sudden death of his brother, an official said Monday.

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, who captured the imagination of the nation when he became the first Malaysian to blast into space on October 10 on board the Russian Soyuz-FG rocket, returned home on Sunday slightly ahead of schedule to attend his younger brother's funeral.

Instead of a hero's welcome which was originally planned by the government, slightly more than 100 family, friends and well-wishers gathered at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to welcome him home, the Star daily said Monday.

The 35-year old Sheikh Muszaphar was doubly sorrowed that he had missed the funeral following a flight delay from Russia, the report said.

His brother, 32-year-old Sheikh Mustafa, died Saturday after being in a coma for several days following a freak accident where he had been hit by a falling object.

A spokesman with the National Space Agency said an official welcome-home ceremony would still be organised on Wednesday, but would be scaled down as a sign of respect for the family's loss.

He said details of the ceremony have not been finalised.

Reports have said Sheikh Muszaphar will be leaving Kuala Lumpur early next week, as he is due to attend an inauguration ceremony in Moscow on November 9.

Sheikh Muszaphar was shortlisted from more than 10,000 hopeful candidates during a nationwide search beginning in 2003, to become the country's first astronaut.

Following months of training in Russia, he blasted off into space with two other cosmonauts to the International Space Station, watched by millions of Malaysians from their television set.


Source: News @

Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Sunday, 28 October 2007
Topic: - The Prog. - General

MOSCOW: A group of Malaysian journalists were busy enjoying an Aidilfitri meal at the Malaysian Embassy here yesterday when one of them broke the silence by asking Malaysia's second-in-line astronaut, Major Dr Faiz Khaleed, a question which became a great debate the entire evening.

"There are some Malaysians who think that we are wasting our money sending a man into space. They said we should have used the money to build more houses for the lower income group instead," was the question directed at Dr Faiz, causing him to give a long look at the journalist.

And after some deep thought, he responded:"I dont see how it is a waste of money, after going through all the training, I know how difficult it was to realise this programme, but we have succeeded in our mission and achieved our objective, and when I saw the rocket taking off, it flashed back everything, how everyone, the scientists, trainers, the government, worked so hard to make it possible. It's difficult to describe it.

It has been a good programme (the Malaysian space programme) and should be supported by all because it has to do a lot with science."

"But if there are Malaysians who think its a waste of money, let it be. It's more worthwhile to waste money on this programme rather than on building something and later it cannot be used and has many defacts," quipped another journalist.

And when the same question was tossed around, especially among the Malaysian students at the gathering, all felt that the programme could not have come at a better time when Malaysians needed a mindset shift on science. which many deemed as a difficulit subject to learn.

"Yes we are proud of seeing a Malaysian in space, and we are proud of Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha Shukor (M'sia's first man in space), its good that we did it (sending a Malaysian into space). It shows the wonders of science and hopefully more Malaysians will want to take up science," Israfil Merican Fazil Merican, a fifth year medical student said, adding that it should boost the interest in science among the people, especially the younger generation like him.

Israfil, a committee member of the Malaysian students association here, said science is a very interesting subject to learn, but unfortunately not many know about it.

"I don't know why, but the ministry (education ministry) should do something about it, make science an interesting subject to learn and adapt in our daily lives," he added.

He said it was science and innovations that made a nation developed and this had been proven by the developed countries.

"I am happy seeing Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor in space not because he is a Malay but because besides determination and strong will, he had proven that science was behind all this," he said.

As for Dr Zulkeffeli Mat Jusoh, the head of the Malaysian Space Programme, it had created a history for the nation and would spur Malaysia to harness science and technology even more to take the country to greater heights.

"It wasn't easy when the programme started. But due to strong support from many, it has become successful and in fact our space programme should be suppported all the time," he said.

He said obviously, the programme should create interest in science, technology and the space industry among Malaysians as the enitre nation watched Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor in space on their television sets.

"I believe if we were to conduct another selection process for future angkasawan (astronauts), more Malaysians will sign up compared to the 11,000 we received for this programme," he said.

For Science, Technology and Innovations Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis, sending a Malaysian into space was a testimony of Malaysia's seriousness in embracing science and technology.

As he told a packed hall at the Mansion House in London on Friday, it was to create awareness among Malaysians the importance of science, technology and the space industry, which could help develop the economy further.

"There was a lot of excitement (when our man went into space), we (government) want to see a mindset change among Malaysians to like science, and we want it (science) to inspire them (Malaysians)," he said at the Commemorative Conference of 50 years of Malaysia-British Partnership.

He said that when Dr Sheikh Muszaphar was sent into space, there was a positive and great response among Malaysians. And this was a good sign as Malaysian youth realised the importance of acquiring knowledge, which will lead to a better future for Malaysia.

At the function, Dr Jamaludin also said that at a time when Malaysia was looking at building a new economy based on technology, British businessmen should grab the opportunity and seek Malaysian partners.

"We can create some kind of cooperation among our scientists in research and development and establish products that can be marketed worldwide. Probably we can take your research and development conducted by your universities while production is done in Malaysia," he said.

He said the Malaysian government will continue provide incentives to those who were willing to assist in the development of the economy based on knowledge driven by science and technology.

But for Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor he had one quest for venturing into space.

"I am not seeking fame or looking forward to be welcomed like a celebrity, but my quest is to inspire Malaysians, especially school children to like learning the subject of science and the space industry," he told Bernama while attending cosmonaut training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Star City here early this year.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor was in space from Oct 10 where he spent 10 days living and carrying out research at the International Space Station (ISS) some 350km from Earth, before returning on Oct 21



Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Topic: - In Memoriam

KUALA LUMPUR: Sheikh Mustafa Shukor Al Masrie, 32, the brother of Angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, died at 6pm yesterday at Universiti Malaya Medical Centre here without regaining consciousness since going into a coma last Sunday after falling and hitting his head in a restaurant in Taman Desa. 

His body was taken to his family's home in Section 12, Petaling Jaya, last night. 

Veterinarian Datuk Sheikh Mustapa Shukor said he was elated and sad at the same time. 

"This is because one of my sons managed to go to space and returned safely while the other just passed away," he said.

UNEXPECTED TRAGEDY: Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor is coming home Sunday for Mustafa's (left) funeral.
While waiting for their flight at the KL International Airport, they discovered that three of them only had single-entry visas to Russia.

He added that Mustafa, a civil engineer, was very close to him, and that he was an intelligent boy who liked to argue with him. 

He said his family had kept Mustafa’s accident a secret from him when he slipped and fell in front of the restaurant and hit his head on some bricks. 

"Only several hours later when my son was already in the hospital did I know what had happened to him. It’s a tragedy for us, but I am proud of him."  

"At first, we were worried for Muszaphar when he went to space but right in front of us, another of our loved one died," he said.  

The father said he built a house in the same compound for Mustafa, his wife and two children. 

"I wanted him to be close to me. That is why I built the house for him," he said.

For him, Mustafa was the most intelligent of all his five sons, he added. 

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak turned up at the house at 11.30pm to offer his condolences. He comforted the family on their sudden loss. 

"This is a personal test for him (the father) and his family. With the grace of God, I hope they will brave through this period," he said. 

Najib said the Government would arrange for Dr Sheikh Muszaphar to arrive at the KL International Airport at 2pm today to attend the funeral in Makam Tuan Haji Syed, Seremban. 

"We'll arrange to take him to Seremban to be with his family." 

The welcoming home celebrations for Dr Sheikh Muszaphar would also be postponed three days after the funeral, he said. 

In a telephone interview from Moscow, the Angkasawan said: "When I went to space I found my life. But when I returned, I lost the life of a loved one." 

He said he received the unexpected news of the death of his brother, the second youngest of the five brothers, with shock. 

"I loved him. We were all so close and it is very difficult for me. I feel an emptiness," a grief-stricken Dr Sheikh Muszaphar said. 

The Angkasawan said he had just completed his rehabilitation at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City after landing on earth on Oct 21, and was rushing to return home.  

"I hope I make it to the funeral. I want to be with my family at our difficult time." 

He added that it was supposed to be a joyful moment for Malaysians as well as his family after his successful and historic mission to the International Space Station on Oct 10, but tragedy befell his family. 

"But I take it as a test from God, that He wants to see how I can handle it. I have no regrets about going to space and this loss is something I just have to face," he said.  

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar thanked the Universiti Malaya Hospital and Hospital UKM doctors for doing all they could to save his brother.


Source: The Star Online

Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Topic: - Other Reports

SEPANG: Angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor returned home to Malaysia after his historic flight into space, only to rush off to Seremban where his brother was buried Sunday afternoon. 

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar's brother, Mustafa, died Saturday at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre. He slipped into a coma last Sunday, after falling down and hitting his head. 

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar's arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport was greeted by some 200 people. 

Some people had started turning up at the airport on news of his return as early as 6am, only to learn that his flight from Moscow via Bangkok was actually scheduled to arrive at 2.10pm. 

This was then delayed to 5.08pm as the flight from Moscow was put off by bad weather.  

As he made his way from Sepang to Seremban, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar was escorted by police outriders supplied by the airport security and the police headquarters in Seremban.


Source: The Star Online

Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Friday, 26 October 2007
Topic: - Other Reports

Deputy Science, Technology and Innovastion Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha picking the winners for the Angkasawan contest. He is flanked by Harian Metro executive editor Mustapa Omar (left), New ST Press group editor-in-chief Datuk Hishamuddin Aun (second from left) and Berita Harian group editor Datuk Mamja Ismail.
KUALA LUMPUR: Three lucky Malaysians have been chosen to go on an all-expenses paid trip to Moscow as part of the contingent to accompany astronaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha home.

They are winners of the Angkasawan contest of the New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Harian Metro. The contest ended on Oct 20.

Participants were required to answer three questions and send in the mastheads of New Straits Times, Berita Harian or Harian Metro.

The publications received 40,000 entries during the period.

The winners were picked by Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Kong Cho Ha at Balai Berita yesterday.

The grand-prize winners are:

- Chan Siew Lian, who submitted her winning entry through the NST,

- Abi Talib Yunus through Berita Harian; and,

- Ariza Hamed through Harian Metro.

The second-prize winners are Mohd Nasir Ismail and R. Priyankaa (NST); Khairi Sabirin Hood and Maisarah Ahmad (Berita Harian); and Mohd Alif Farhan Zainal  and Mohd Suhaili Mohd Nor (Harian Metro).

They each receive a HP Compaq 6510b Business Notebook and a year's Streamyx subscription.

There are three third-prize winners for each newspaper.

They are Azhar Mohd Zain, Chen Soo Wah and Abd Halim Abdul (NST); Mohd Hafiz Hamad, Nor Azam Ahmad and Azaman (Berita Harian); and Mohamad Khaidir Shaharir , Mohd Hermey Abdul Halim and Siti Nor Hanani Ramli (Harian Metro).

They each win an 80G IPod Classic.

There are also 100 consolation prize winners who will get an exclusive T-shirt each.

All winners will be contacted to claim their prizes


Source: The New Straits Times Online

Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Thursday, 25 October 2007
Topic: - The Prog. - General

KUALA LUMPUR: A government backbencher this Thursay called on the private sector to contribute funds to the government for the national spaceman programme.

Datuk Badruddin Amirulddin (BN-Jerai) said the private sector's support was needed to ensure the programme, research and development (R&D) efforts in space and aerospace exploration be continued and enhanced.

"I suggest for the private sector including corporate firms to allocate their profits to assist the government develop the spaceman programme so that we can produce more astronauts in the future," he said when debating the Supply Bill 2008 in the Dewan Rakyat.

He also urged the private sector, especially those involved in the aerospace industry, to take advantage of the spaceman programme by doing more R&D for the benefit of the country and its people.

In his speech, he congratulated the country's first spaceman, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustafa, and lauded the programme for being able to draw the interest and unify the people who were clearly proud with the achievement.

"All races, on the launch day, witnessed it and were elated. Then, we, as Malaysians, were proud and pleased that our spaceman took off safely and will now return home.

"It shows that even though we are a small and modest country, we can still move forward," Badruddin said.

He said the programme also created an interest and hope among the younger generation to deeply venture into science and aspire to be called an astronaut.

"The spaceman programme has heightened the interest of students in science and this can produce highly knowledgeable human capital in the future," he said.

He hoped that one day, Malaysian astronauts would be allowed to stay longer in space to carry out more indepth research.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar took off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, with two other spacemen for the International Space Station on Oct 10 and returned to earth on Sunday



Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST
Topic: - Dr Sheikh

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's first angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha said he now felt free after having successfully fullfiled the huge responsibilities entrusted on him.

"I realised it was a huge responsibility for me and I am very grateful for having performed it well," he said in the interview from the post-space mission quarantine centre in Star City, Moscow.

He blasted off into space with a Russian cosmonaut and an American astronaut from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, for the ISS on Oct 10 and returned to Earth on Sunday.

Dr Muszaphar will be at the quarantine centre for between 10 days and two weeks for health monitoring before he can be allowed to come home.

He, however, is very grateful that throughout the space mission, he did not have any health problems and attributed his healthy condition to the Malaysians who prayed for him.

On the challenges facing him during the mission, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar said the biggest challenge was to carry out the experiments which had been entrusted on him.

"I realised the experiments like the one of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia was crucial because the scientists had worked very hard for two years on it ... and I did the best possible," he added.

Dr Muszaphar also said he took the space mission seriously and not for fun.

"It was not for fun or merely to travel to space. To me, it was crucial to show the whole world that we, Malaysians, are capable of doing things like this," he said.

He said that he also felt elated and proud to be given the trust by the European Space Agency (ESA) to repair its equipment at the ISS.

"It was indeed a great honour that the ESA placed its trust in a Malaysian angkasawan to do the job," said the orthopaedic surgeon.

In the interview, Dr Muszaphar was also asked on Nasa not recognising him as an Angkasawan but only as a space flight participant.

"To me, regardless whether Nasa called me a space flight participant or by any other name, what is important is that I'm recognised as an Angkasawan by all Malaysians."

"Likewise the Russians, they recognised me as a Cosmonaut Researcher. This is important because I did the training with them and only they know what we (he and Kapt Dr Faiz Khaleed (Malaysia's back up angkasawan)) went through and how serious we were to accomplish the mission," he said.

He, however, said that the training they went through was different than the one required by space tourists, whose training was only for six months.

"Perhaps, I should also prove to them (Nasa) that I am capable of doing the best. Hopefully, after this I will get to go to space longer, perhaps six months and be given the opportunity to work with Nasa and to prove to them that we are as good their astronauts," he said.

Meanwhile, recalling the experience during landing in the Soyuz TMA-10 capsule, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar said he felt difficulty breathing and his chest felt like an elephant stepping on it.

"It felt like an elephant stepping on your chest... it pressed on your chest so hard that you felt like you were not able to breathe and uncomfortable. But we had been taught to breathe through our abdomen and release the air through the chest, the training saved us," he added.

During the interview, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar also took the opportunity to thank all Malaysians for their prayers and hoped Malaysia would produce more angkasawan and scientists in future.

He also hoped that Malaysia would make further inroads in aerospace development and produce its own rocket for a space mission.


Source: Daily Express Internet Edition

Posted by site editor at 12:01 AM JST

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