Saturday, October 13, 2007

MORE Pics – SOYUZ Docked-Malaysian Tourist Arrived ISS; Bad Omen - Mother hysterical at Lift Off; Muszaphar No confidence - Left 3 Farewell letters

Malaysiakini had a very early report (on Raya Day) on the docking

Soyuz craft docks with space station Oct 13, 07 3:35am and the lead story on Hari Raya wishes
Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri from Malaysiakini Oct 13, 07 3:17am

with Malaysia-tv on Race, religion still divide nation: PM
He is feeling very well now. If our DPM Najib is to greet the 1st Astronaut on his return, Malaysians of all faiths must pray hard as he has no confidence of returning. He seemed to have a premonition when it was reported he handed 3 farewell letters (see report below) to his parents seeking for “forgiveness” should anything untoward happened. It looks like he had no confidence in the mission despite 1 year of training. The Russians should have scuttled the launch if they heard about such a bad omen.
And the backup dentist has been confirmed as the 2nd Astronaut and who will be the third? And what will this dentist wants to prove in space? Is he going to extract one of his teeth and tell the world that “there is no bleeding at all as in the weightlessness state without gravity, the blood will not flow out?”

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October 12, 2007 21:00 PM

New crew and a tourist arrive at space station

ABOVE: The crew of Six in the ISS now including the "tourist"
(Front row, left to right) Spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor of Malaysia, Yuri Malenchenk and Expedition 16 Commander Peggy Whitson along with (back row, left to right) Expedition 15 crew member Oleg Kotov, Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Clayton Anderson. = == = == = == = = == = == = = =

CAPE CANAVERAL (Florida) - A RUSSIAN capsule carrying a new crew for the International Space Station and Malaysia's first astronaut slipped into a berthing port at the orbital outpost on Friday as the space ships sailed 357 km above Earth. The Soyuz spacecraft, which blasted off ON Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, reached the station at 10.50 am (10.50pm Singapore time). About 90 minutes later, hatches between the two vessels opened and Nasa's Peggy Whitson, cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, an orthopedic surgeon and part-time model from Malaysia, floated aboard. 'Well, hello,' one of the two Russian cosmonauts currently stationed on the outpost said through a translator. 'Welcome on board.' Ms Whitson and Mr Malenchenko, both of whom have lived on the station previously, were to become the outpost's 16th crew and Whitson its first female commander. The first from his nation to fly in space, Dr Shukor was scheduled to remain aboard the station for eight days conducting medical research while Ms Whitson and Mr Malenchenko learn about station operations from the current crew.

I'm feeling very well: Shukor

'I'm feeling very well,' Dr Shukor said in a televised briefing with officials and guests gathered at the Russian Mission Control Centre outside Moscow. 'I have lots of American and Russian friends on board.' He then heard a familiar voice.

'This is your father. How are you doing?' Dr Shukor's dad asked. 'Very well,' Dr Shukor replied. 'I love you very much.' Dr Shukor's flight is part of a commercial deal Russia cut to sell aircraft to Malaysia. He will return to Earth on Oct 21 with outgoing station commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and flight engineer Oleg Kotov.

The station, a US$100 billion (S$147 billion) project of 16 nations, is a little more than 60 per cent complete, with some of the most complex work still to come. Laboratory modules owned by the European and Japanese space agencies are scheduled to be installed in December and in 2008 respectively, as well as a Canadian-built robotic hand for the station's robot arm. In addition, a European cargo ship called Jules Verne, a French author who pioneered the science fiction genre, is scheduled for a debut flight in February.

Three of the next visiting US space shuttle crews will tackle initial tasks to install the new components, but it will be up to Ms Whitson, Mr Malenchenko and their third flight engineer to prepare for the additions and to complete the work. 'We're doing a lot more of the assembly operations,' Ms Whitson said in a preflight interview. The new crew will not have much time to settle in before the first guests arrive. Shuttle Discovery, set for launch on Oct 23, is expected to deliver a critical connection hub called Harmony to serve as a docking port for the new laboratories. Ms Whitson and Mr Malenchenko start off their six-month mission with Nasa astronaut Clay Anderson, already aboard the station, as their third crewmember. Discovery astronaut Dan Tani will take over Mr Anderson's slot until his replacement, France's Leopold Eyharts, arrives on a shuttle flight in December. -- REUTERS via STS

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October 13, 2007 00:52 AM

Soyuz Spacecraft Docks With ISS; From Abdul Rahman Ahmad

ABOVE: Docked or mated, Soyuz with the Space station and BELOW: the above view of Space ship

MOSCOW, Oct 13 (Bernama) -- After two days of orbiting the earth, the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft carrying Malaysia's first astronaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha docked with the International Space Station (ISS) some 350km above earth at 6.50pm (10.50pm Malaysian time). The Mission Control Centre here erupted into applause as the spacecraft docked with the ISS.

Watching the historic moment were Malaysian Science, Technolony and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis, officials of the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, and Head of Manned Space Flights of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Peter Mayor. Also present were Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor's parents, Datuk Dr Sheikh Mustapha Sheikh Shukor and Datin Zuraidah Sheikh Ahmad. "Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God), I am happy now that I know my son is safe in space," said Dr Sheikh Mustapha after he witnessed the docking. Zuraidah could not control herself and gave a loud laugh after seeing the successful docking. "Now I am satisfied that he has reached his destination," she said.The hatch was opened at 8.22pm (12.22am Oct 13 in Malaysia) after allowing the air pressure in the spacecraft and the ISS to equalise, done through the equaliser connector between the spacecraft and the ISS. The three crew of the spacecraft then entered the ISS one by one, with the first being Commander Peggy Whitson, then Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor and lastly Flight Engineer and Soyuz TMA-11 Commander Yuri Malenchenko.

The trio were greeted and welcomed on board the ISS by the three crew of the previous mission, Expedition 15, Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov and mission specialist Clay Anderson. The three astronauts of the latest mission, Expedition 16, then engaged in brief teleconferencing with the mission control centre. Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor also spoke. He spoke first in Russian to say that he felt good. Then he spoke to Jamaludin, expressing his greetings to all Malaysians and said that he was having "a good time" with his astronaut colleagues.

ABOVE & BELOW: The new kid on the International Space Station speaking excitedly to home

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor also spoke briefly with his father, saying he sent his regards and love to the family and wished "Selamat Hari Raya". He said he hoped to share his experience with all of them upon his return to earth. Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor is scheduled to conduct several scientific experiments on board the ISS and will return to earth on Oct 21 with Commander Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Kotov. Whitson, who will take over as ISS commander, and Malenchenko will remain on the ISS for the next six months. Anderson will return to earth next month. Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, Whitson and Malenchenko blasted off the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Oct 10. Dr Skeikh Muszaphar Shukor became the first Malaysian to go into space, made possible by 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. Earlier, soon after the docking of the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft with the ISS,

ABOVE & BELOW: The new kid showing off his weightlessness acrobat skills

Jamaludin told a news conference that "Malaysia thanks everyone, including the Russian government and its space agency, and other space agencies such as NASA for their support. "Without your contribution, Malaysia could not have made it in this programme. Malaysia wants to be a permanent member of this (space) community. Malaysia would like to send its second angkasawan (astronaut) into space with the approval of the Russian government, "Malaysia has now entered a new era. (Deputy Prime Minister) Datuk Seri Najib (Tun Abdul Razak) will welcome Dr Sheikh (Muszaphar Shukor) when he comes back to earth," he said. Najib is scheduled to be in Moscow on Oct 21 when Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor returns to earth.

Jamaludin said Malaysia was requesting the Russian government for another spot to put another angkasawan in space in the future.

= == = =

Najib To Greet Malaysian Astronaut On His Return From Space

From Abdul Rahman Ahmad

MOSCOW, Oct 12 (Bernama) -- Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri

Najib Tun Razak will be here on Oct 21 to welcome back to earth Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha, the first Malaysian to go into space.

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis said here today Najib, who will represent Malaysia and its people, had confirmed by telephone his presence here on that date. Dr Sheikh Muszaphar is scheduled to return to earth at 6 pm (Russian time) at a location 1,500km from here. He will be with Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov, who are now in the International Space Station (ISS). The Malaysian had blasted off into space from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, on Oct 10 in the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft with Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko, and is scheduled to dock with the ISS tonight.

Jamaludin said it would take between six and eight hours for the two recovery helicopters to locate the spacecraft and bring the crew to the nearest airport for their flight to Moscow. He also said that he would convey to the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, the Malaysian government's decision to have backup astronaut Capt Dr Faiz Khaleed participate in the next space mission. Jamaludin said he would seek the assistance of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of the United States to train Dr Faiz to surpass the NASA benchmark for an astronaut. "Both Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor and Dr Faiz have surpassed the benchmark set by Russia. Now we want them to surpass the American benchmark," he said. Jamaludin said efforts must also be made to find a backup astronaut for Dr Faiz, who himself had been the backup astronaut for Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor. Meanwhile, Dr Faiz said he was happy to know that the Malaysian government, as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Oct 10, had decided to enable him participate in the next space mission.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Leaves Three Letters For Parents

From Abdul Rahman Ahmad

BAIKONUR, (KAZAKHSTAN), Oct 10 (Bernama) -- Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha who made his maiden space journey tonight left three letters behind for his parents in case anything untoward were to happen uring his 10-day mission. His mother Datin Zuraidah Sheikh Ahmad said the letters were handed to her while they were on the bus ferrying Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor to the launch site. "They were about his love for his family and seeking forgiveness should he not be able to get a chance to voice it again," she said tears streaming down her cheeks. She said that he also asked them to pray for his safe return. recalling the launch moments, Zuraidah said she cried hysterically as she could not bear to see her son leave. The amount of flames that came out during the launch gave me such a fright," she said, adding that only when the rocket smoothly went on its ay did she calm down. Datuk Sheikh Mustafa Sheikh Shukor said he did feel a little fear during the launch moments but he had prepared himself for it and believed verything would go fine. He was very glad his son got to realise his dream and planned to further his career in the field. eanwhile, Maznah Mohamed, the mother of Kapt Dr Faiz Khaleed, alaysia's reserve candidate for the mission, said she was happy for Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor and prayed for his safe return. On her son's wish to continue to be involved space missions, Maznah said it was up to him and that as a mother, he would always get her blessings. Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency Tuesday said Dr Faiz could be considered for a mission next year or 2009.

= == = == = =and business for this "tourist" will soar in his part-time Restaurant business when he hangs and displays the extra paraphernalia of his sojourn to space. The government should have a cut in commission if he is using the space suit.

Astronaut's Business Partner Proud

ABOVE: Celebrity chef Ismail Ahmad, the business partner of Malaysia's first astronaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, together with his staff and patrons of the Rebung Restaurant in Bangsar proudly watch the blast-off of the Soyuz spacecraft's launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 (Bernama) -- "I feel like I'm walking around without any gravity," exclaimed celebrity chef Ismail Ahmad, the business partner of Malaysia's first astronaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha, on his friend's flight into space. Walking about here and there as if he was floating on air, Ismail was ever the busy bee today at the Rebung Restaurant in Bangsar as he took snapshots of his staff next to posters and buntings of his now famous

business partner during breaking-of-the-fast. It was obvious through his demeanour how proud he was of Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor's place in history as the first Malaysian in space. Ismail said he never doubted that Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor would be the one selected as the country's first representative to venture into "the great unknown". "You're the one doc, you're the one," he kept saying over and over again when asked what he felt about Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor's selection as the country's first astronaut. Ismail was not alone in his belief that the good doctor would be chosen as Malaysia's first astronaut as the sentiment was shared by many members of his staff. According to Rebung's head chef, Normah Mustafa, 48, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor had always been a very determined and "go-get-it gung-ho" person, whose self-esteem and confidence were the key for his selection. "I always told him not to worry. Don't worry doctor, I said. You will be chosen," she said, adding that Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor was a firm but gentle employer who treated the staff like family. When asked how she felt during the launch, she told Bernama that she was nervous and that her nervousness would not subside until he had safely docked with the International Space Station (ISS) and had returned safely to earth. Flashes of pride and joy were clearly reflected in the her eyes whilst joy and excitement danced with every footstep of Ismail's even though he is suffering from gout. In fact, according to Ismail, he met Dr Sheikh Muszaphar when the doctor treated him for his ailment six years ago. "I discovered his love for food when he treated me for gout. That's how we came up with the idea of opening Rebung," he said. A positive side-effect of having the country's first celebrity astronaut

as a business partner has given Rebung a chance to expand as Dr Sheikh

Muszaphar has recently agreed and signed on to franchise the business.

"A secondary but more beneficial side-effect to the country is Sheikh's positive influence on the children of the restaurant's patrons as they are now keen on becoming astronauts and learning more about science, technology and space," Ismail said. "Parents would come up to me when I'm out in shopping malls and ask if they could buy the T-shirt (Sheikh Muszaphar's promotional T-shirt) that

I'm wearing," beamed the proud chef. A mixture of electrically charged emotions intensified the atmosphere at Rebung Restaurant during the blast-off of the Soyuz spacecraft carrying Malaysia's first astronaut into space. Rebung Restaurant's manager, Lina Ali, was seen sobbing softly as tears of pride and joy trickled from her eyes as she watched the rocket's launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. "I'm overjoyed, but I'm also very frightened for his safety. But I'm

also praying to Allah for his safety and I hope that nothing will happen to the rocket," she said. The restaurant was packed with patrons who were there not only for their "buka puasa" (breaking of fast) fare but also in anticipation of

Malaysia's first big leap into the final frontier. Dr Sheikh Muszaphar's driver cum bodyguard Ismail Sharif, 39, said the nation's pride and joy was a born leader and someone very easy to work with who was extremely determined to be the country's first man in space. "He would tell me to drive 60 kilometres per hour or 40 kilometres per hour and he would run behind me. Then when we've reached our destination he would ask me how long it took for him to get there. He was always perfecting himself, improving himself so that he would be where he is now. I am so proud of him," he said with a smile.

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October 11, 2007 01:13 AM

Dr Faiz To Be Malaysia's Second Astronaut

SECOND IN LINE? Backup Angkasawan Dentist Capt. Dr Faiz Khaleed, 27, after the announcement of Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor as Malaysia's first angkasawan (cosmonaut). Dr Faiz is to be Malaysia's second astronaut should there be any offer from Russia for a Malaysian to join any of its future Soyuz missions to the ISS.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 (Bernama) -- Dentist Capt Dr Faiz Khaleed, 27, is to be Malaysia's second astronaut should there be any offer from Russia for a Malaysian to join any of its future Soyuz missions to the International Space Station (ISS). Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Dr Faiz was considered qualified and Malaysia was keen to accept any offer. "Malaysia will continue with the space programme and Faiz will be the second angkasawan (astronaut)," he told reporters after watching the live telecast of the launch of a Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft carrying Malaysian "angkasawan" Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) here tonight. Abdullah said the important factor in furthering the Malaysian Angkasawan Programme was allocation for space technology, research and related activities. Malaysia had allocation for its space programme although there was no offer of assistance from any quarter, he added. On the launch, Abdullah said its success meant the beginning of Malaysia's venture into space along with international teams to participate in research."

This is a new experience for us and it is obvious that young people were very inspired by what they have seen. "Interest in space technology and space research, and this is what I believe will happen after this event," he said. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he regarded the selection of a Malaysian astronaut for the launch as a milestone in the country's history because it reflected the mental and psychological capacity of the candidate, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor.He said the historic event would kindle the spirit of the younger generation to realise that anything can be achieved with effort. "We stand a few inches taller as Malaysians tonight," he said. Works Minister and MIC President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu extended congratulations to Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor on becoming the first Malaysian to go into space. He said he hoped that the "angkasawan" would have a successful mission in space. The selection of Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor brings pride to all Malaysians, he said in a statement here. "He has brought honour to Malaysia. Now we can take pride in one more Malaysian having proven the spirit of `Malaysia Boleh'. "We have scaled Mt Everest, traversed the oceans, reached the North Pole and now gone into space. I believe our next mission will be to set foot on the moon," he said.

= == = == = = == = and a supporter for the Malaysian cosmonaut who seems to be acting as a "consultant" for the Malaysian Ankasawan programme who was here officially " to witness and experience the historic moment" - free of charge?
October 11, 2007 00:04 AM

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Is An Astronaut, Says Former NASA Spaceman

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 (Bernama) -- Former National Aeronautics and Space

Administration (NASA) astronaut Robert L. Gibson said today that Malaysia's angkasawan (Malay for astronaut) Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha is a full-fledged astronaut. The United States Navy Captain said that although NASA had categorized him as only a spaceflight participant, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor is a fully qualified astronaut because he had undergone astronaut training in Russia and also at NASA.

"Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor is eminently qualified to be an astronaut," he told reporters when met at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) here where the launch of the Soyuz rocket carrying Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor and two other crew - Peggy Whitson of the United States (who is also the mission commander) and Russian flight engineer Yury Malenchenko - was beamed live tonight. Gibson, who has been to space five times between 1984 and 1995, was here with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and all Malaysians.

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October 11, 2007 01:11 AM

Successful Space Launch Promotes Malaysia-Kazakhstan Ties

THE HISTORICAL SOYUZ TMA-11? The spacecraft is set to pave the way for stronger ties between Malaysia and Kazakhstan with its successful launch into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at exactly 9.21pm Malaysian time.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 (Bernama) -- The successful launch into space of Malaysia's first astronaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in a Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft is set to pave the way for stronger ties between Malaysia and Kazakhstan. "We are not just friendly countries now but countries with common interests. Let the good times be with us forever," Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev said in a speech read out by a representative and conveyed here via video conferencing following the successful launch. He said the fact that the launch took place during the holy month of Ramadan was a significant achievement for Muslims all over the world. "The name of Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor will be written in the golden history of Malaysia," he said, adding that the mission coincided with Malaysia's 50th anniversary of independence this year. The president's message was conveyed to Malaysians via a live video conferencing session between Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) and Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis in Astana, Kazakhstan. The spacecraft bearing the Malaysian, Russian and United States flags blasted off at 9.21 pm (7.21 pm in Kazakhstan). The 35-year-old Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, an orthopaedic surgeon from Seremban, is accompanied by American Peggy Whitson and Russian Yuri Malenchenko. Russia built the Baikonur cosmodrome on the arid plains of Kazakhstan inSoviet times and has continued to use the site under a rental deal since the 1991 Soviet collapse.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sending another bolehnut to space for vacation will cost another usd 20 mil, can Malaysia afford it ???

5:31 PM  
Blogger davors said...

perhaps whoever tell the truth that this mission is a clown act will be crowned or label as "pengkianat" or betrayal of country?


there goes the taxpayers money...

i rather they use the money to make the LRT system or public transport better.

government making clown act?
malaysian being fooled like moron...

vote the monkeys out!

5:54 PM  
Blogger manoj said...

i was following the malaysian astronaut programme for few days...neither the astronaut himself or the ministers did sound the voyage as something very important for the country. and the minister escorting a doctor interested in modelling and running hotel on his million dollar entertainment programme is a shame...he is the only malaysian fit to go to space..? it can only termed as space tourist...if he had spent money from his pocket it s something important...have some respect for the people you are ruling , i ask the government. arrange for bungee jumps for thes kind of lunatics and save that money for good schools , technical institutions , or research activites which will sustain the country better.

12:24 AM  
Blogger kakerue said...

Hello!!! Stop criticize them ok.. The malaysian should support them,not criticize them.. Or you guys are just sooooo jealous of dr. sheikh... You are the one with the monkey act, LOSER!!

10:24 PM  

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