Thursday, October 11, 2007

Successful Launch of Soyuz TMA-11

This post is dedicated to Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, Malaysia's first astronaut.

Malaysia's flag is flying high in the background of the trio's photo session. Malaysia has created history in having an astronaut amongst its citizens. I have to give our Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, an orthopaedic surgeon, a standing ovation for the tremendous efforts put up by him.

It was not easy in spite of the Ramadan month where he as a Muslim need to fast from dawn till dusk and yet, he went through those tough trainings and passed his final tests before take-off in order to enter the spacecraft.

The successful launch for the Expedition 16 team in the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft on 10 Oct 2007 Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan was greeted with fanfare in Malaysia. Almost everyone was glued to their TVs in watching Dr Sheikh boarding the spacecraft with Commander Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko till the launching into space.

I wonder what's the feeling like when you are up there. This Dr Sheikh has a dream and his dream was really BIG. His dream was there when he signed up for the selection of an astronaut back in Malaysia (around 11,000 plus did so).

Dr Sheikh's astronaut mates at the International Space Station has prepared a space for him at the Zvezda service module to conduct his experiments in the next 9 days of stay and he will depart for earth on 21 Oct.

Picked this up from NASA's website:-
With Whitson and Malenchenko is spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor. He is a Malaysian flying under contract with the Russian Federal Space Agency. He will return to Earth with Expedition 15 crew members, Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov, Oct. 21. Expedition 15 launched to the station last April 7.

Reading: Space Station Awaits Crew With 2 Firsts - New York Times
Reading: Doctor to honor Ramadan rituals in space - Yahoo News! via AP
(All pictures taken from Nasa's website)
Tags: Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, Malaysia, Space, Spacecraft, Soyuz TMA-11, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, NASA, Zvezda Service Module, Peggy Whitson, Flight Engineer, Yuri Malenchenko, International Space Station, Russian Federal Space Agency



Blogger sollee said...

congratulations to malaysian people..hope we'll have a filipino who'll join your astronauts someday...

11 October, 2007 20:06  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

all they need is just a BIG dream with efforts

12 October, 2007 10:00  
Blogger sollee said...

how i wish but traveling to outer space is too costly..sometimes having big dreams and efforts are not enough to achieve success..why do have to spend too much money on this kind of endeavor when we know that a lot of our countrymen are suffering from poverty..maybe when our gov,t is "big time" already..then we can afford to conquer the outer space..

12 October, 2007 14:02  
Blogger Johnny Ong said...

well, my country's govt felt it was worth the investment believing that it will enthrall a new generation of space lovers and hence, with the interest it'll give birth to new space technologies/research that will spur the growth of in malaysia

at times, i believe that in order for a nation to grow, it need some new things. as the roman empire grew, the colliseum was built and so forth. it represents different era of growth (according to some readings i went thru last time)

12 October, 2007 16:58  

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