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Thursday, October 11, 2007


First Malaysian Cosmonaut To Space

10th October 2007 has become a history of Malaysia, when the first Malaysian cosmonaut (angkasawan), Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha, 35, was launched to the International Space Station (ISS), in rocket Soyuz TMA-11.
This historical event held in Baikanor Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Russia. The lift-off was at 7:21pm local time (9:21pm Malaysian Time)

Fig: Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar waving before boarding Soyuz TMA-11.

Besides him, the mission to ISS is accompanied by Komander Peggy Whitson (USA) and flight engineer, Yuri Malenchenko (Russia).

Nine minutes after the lift-off, the rocket reached the altitude of 200km from earth and the main control centre near Moscow announced "Space-shuttle TMA-11 is in orbit".
Visual from the cockpit was shown to the whole country (live broadcast on several M'sian channels). The space shuttle will reached the ISS in 48 hours at the altitude of 360km from earth.

These three cosmonauts will be in ISS for 10 days with Dr Sheikh Muszaphar conducting three experiments involving 3 main components ie. "cells in space", microbs in space" and "protein crystalization" before returning to earth on 21st October 2007.

Malaysians are so proud to have a Malaysian in the space, proving that nothing is impossible to achieve a big success.

"This is an area which is usually explored by developed countries. I see this as a big success for the nation as there are Malaysians who are qualified to be astronauts." - Dato' Najib Tun Razak (Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia)


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