Angkasawan Negara succesfully blasted off into space

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Angkasawan Negara, Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Al Masrie, was successfully blasted off into space in a Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan at exactly 9.21pm, Malaysian time. Within 9 minutes, the spacecraft reached the targeted elevation. It will be 48 hours before the Soyuz capsule dock with the International Space Station (ISS).

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Dr. Sheikh, an orthopedic surgeon by profession, will have specific missions on his own. He will be carrying out medical and bio-technology tests and research on behalf of various Malaysian scientists, whilst at ISS. One experiment he will be conducting is on behalf of eminent Malaysian geneticists, Oxford trained Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mohamed Saifulaman Mohd. Said, Director of Bio-technology Institute, UiTM Shah Alam.

NST Online » Frontpage

2007/10/11

Experiments for three space agencies

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s first astronaut will be kept busy doing work for three space agencies during his 10-day sojourn in space.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor will carry out experiments for space agencies in Malaysia, Europe and Japan.

National Space Agency director-general Datuk Dr Mazlan Othman said here yesterday Dr Muszaphar would be on a very tight schedule.

“We are so happy to finally have the nation’s dream come true. The Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry had been working on the project since 2002.”

She said Dr Muszaphar would conduct experiments on tropical disease microbes for Malaysia, eyesight and muscles research for Europe Space Agency. For the Japanese Space Agency, he will carry out tests on the effects of radiation in space.
“The space project is not a one-off thing. We have solid long term planning for the space programme.”

Dr Mazlan said local scientists would continue to work with their counterparts in Europe and Japan as they had agreed to work collectively on several space-related research project.

“From here, one day we might want to spend money to send our men to space,” she said, adding that it would cost about US$30 million (RM105 million) to send one person.

Millions of Malaysians were glued on national TV and Astro, which carried the historical event live, from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. Prime Minister and 1,000 guests including University students assembled at KLCC Convention Centre and exchanged speeches and pleasantries with the Kazakhtani President and MOSTI Minister in Kazakhstan.

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Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr, Mahathir Mohamad, whose visionary initiated this project, saw this historial event on TV from his room at IJN, still recuperating after his landmark second multiple coronary by-pass 4 Sept.

Dr. Sheikh will be the first Muslim astronaut to be in space during Islam holiest month, Ramadhan. BBC.com has the story on how he will carry out his rituals and will hold the first traditional Hari Raya Aidil Fitri celebratory meal in space.

May Allah bless you and you definitely made us very proud!

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Published in: on October 10, 2007 at 21:50  Comments (5)  

Angkasawan Negara blast off tonight

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Angkasawan Negara Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Al Masrie, 35, an orthopedic surgeon with HUKM, the first Malaysian in space will blast off into the 360km elevation orbit in a Russian Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft tonight, at 9.22pm Malaysian time. The event will take place at Baikonur Cosmodrome, right in the interiors of Kazakhstan.

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Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Dato’ Seri Dr. Jamaluddin Jarjis will be present at the launch, representing the Malaysian Government. The Angkasawan program is under the purview of his MOSTI ministry. It will be carried live by Astro channel 588, from the 8 October till the safe return on 21 October. RTM 1 will also feed the launch live tonight.

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The spacecraft carrying the three astronauts in this 16th mission will dock with International Space Station (ISS). Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar is said to be fasting during the journey and whilst in space, will be spending Hari Raya Aidil Fitri from the ISS. As a former MRSM Muar alumnus, the ‘Ansarawan’ posted a special message to the Ex-MRSM Alumni (ANSARA) Portal.

Ucapan Khas Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor

Jika diizinkan Allah pada 10 Oktober 2007, akan tercatat dalam sejarah negara, seorang anak muda Malaysia akan berjaya menjejakkan kaki di Stesen Angkasa Lepas Antarabangsa (ISS). Lebih Istimewa buat Ansara ialah calon utama dari Malaysia, Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor merupakan bekas pelajar MRSM. Marilah kita berdoa agar cita-cita negara dan beliau dimakbulkan Allah.

Berikut ialah ucapan khas daripada Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor kepada seluruh ahli Ansara dan warga MRSM:

Khas buat ANSARA,

Saya sebagai bekas pelajar MRSM Muar 1985-1989 ingin mengucapkan jutaan terima kasih atas segala sokongan anda.

Terpilihnya saya sebagai angkasawan negara adalah hasil titik peluh guru-guru MRSM dan saya berjanji untuk menyumbangkan bakti saya kepada negara yang tercinta.

Saya juga berharap selepas program angkasawan ini saya dapat menyuntik inspirasi kepada semua pelajar di Malaysia khususnya pelajar-pelajar MRSM diseluruh negara.

Ke arah negara yang cemerlang , gemilang dan terbilang

” Sekiranya saya mampu melakukannya , saya yakin anda juga boleh ! “

Wassalam

Dr Sheikh
Angkasawan Negara

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This was reported by Reuters. Also Read Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar’s Angkasawan blog here and this is what The Star reported this morning about this landmark historical moment for Malaysia.

Sheikh Muszaphar set to be first Malaysian in space

jane@thestar.com.my

BAIKONUR (Kazakhstan): Hospital UKM’s Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor will make history when he goes into space on board the Russian Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft at 9.22pm (Malaysian time) on Wednesday.

“It’s a small step for me, but a great leap for the Malaysian people,’’ Dr Sheikh Muszaphar – the first Malaysian to go into space – told the Associated Press, rephrasing Neil Armstrong’s legendary words after the Apollo landing on the moon in 1969.

He will spend 10 days in space, including eight on board the Inter-national Space Station (ISS) where he will be part of the ISS Expedition16 crew.

The TMA-11 craft carrying the 35-year-old doctor and his flight mates – Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and American astronaut Peggy Whitson – is scheduled to dock at the ISS at 10.51pm (local time) on Friday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Cabinet Ministers and 280 students will watch the live broadcast of the launch at the KL Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur tonight.

On Sunday, Abdullah will hold a teleconference with Dr Sheikh Muszaphar who will then be on board the ISS.

Another first for the Malaysian Angkasawan is that he will be hosting a Hari Raya party on board the space station on the first day of Syawal. He has taken satay and some kuih Raya to treat the others on board.

At the ISS, he will carry out four experiments drawn up by Malaysian scientists.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar is to study of the effects of microgravity and space radiation on cells and microbes, as well as experiments with proteins for a potential HIV vaccine.

The rocket – adorned with a Malaysian flag and coat of arms and carrying the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft – was moved on Monday to the launch pad from its assembly site at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, which Russia rents from Kazakhstan.

Malaysia is paying for the voyage as part of a billion-dollar purchase of Russian fighter jets.

Russia built the cosmodrome on the arid plains of Kazakhstan during Soviet times and has continued to use the site under a rental deal since the 1991 Soviet collapse.

Russia is marking 50 years of space exploration, having celebrated on Oct 4 the 50th anniversary of the launch of the first ever satellite, Sputnik.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar is to return to Earth on Oct 21 with two Russian members of the current space station crew.

Whitson and Malenchenko will stay on as the station’s new crew, and will be joined in October by American astronaut Daniel Tani, who is arriving with the shuttle Discovery. Tani will replace fellow American Clayton Anderson, who has been at the station since June.

Malaysians will eagerly wait this historical moment, with prayers, 46 years after the first manned flight to space by Russian Cosmonaut Major Yuri Gagarin. Even though the Indonesians first ventured seriously into aerospace beginning in the 70s, the Singaporeans later mastered the science of avionics and communications and the Vietnamese is the closest political and military ally of the Soviet Union (now Russia) in the region, its the Malaysians who will be the first South East Asian in space.

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Under the leadership of Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who is avid mover of science and technology, launched the initial steps towards the Angkasawan project and Dato’ Dr. Mazlan Othman, a former physics professor who was attached as the Head of United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, appointed to head the Agensi Angkasa Lepas Negara (then known as Space Science Division under Jabatan Perdana Menteri). A planetarium was built in the 90s to expose Malaysians in astronomy sciences and space explorations. Then it went into serious mode for sending a Malaysian into space missions and started the ball rolling.

Angkasawan (TM) programmed core ideals are to the achieve these objectives:

Achievement
To send a Malaysian Angkasawan(TM) to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2007 signalling a giant step in the nation’s march towards the future.

Expertise
To gain knowledge and experience from Russia and other countries as a platform for Malaysia to develop further its technological and scientific capabilities and expertise.

Identity
To instill in Malaysians a unity of purpose and generate amongst Malaysians a sense of national identity and pride.

Inspiration
To inspire all Malaysians to strive for excellence and to inspire young Malaysians to explore new areas of science and technology.

In October 2003, the selection for Angkasawan started, where 11,000 able bodied Malaysians were evaluated and finally two candidates were finalised in 2006.

This is former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s message on this historical launch, transmitted from Bunga Raya VIP ward, IJN via Sufi Yusoff.

 

Saya ucapkan tahniah kepada Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha yang telah terpilih menjadi Angkasawan pertama negara.

Saya berbangga kerana sempena 50-tahun kemerdekaan negara, impian kita untuk menghantar rakyat Malaysia ke angkasa bakal tercapai.

Berbekalkan semangat serta kecekapan yang diperolehi hasil daripada program latihan Angkasawan yang dituruti, saya percaya Dr Sheikh Muszaphar akan berjaya menjalankan tugas dan tanggungjawabnya dengan sempurna.

Sebagai rakyat, saya berdoa agar misi yang akan membawa Dr Sheikh Muszaphar ke “International Space Station” berjalan lancar dan selamat.

Saya percaya Angkasawan Malaysia yang pertama akan memanfaatkan segala apa yang dipelajari daripada pengalaman ini. Apa yang akan dikongsi bersama dengan rakyat akan menjadi sumber inspirasi kepada generasi akan datang.

Kejayaan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar dan Dr Faiz Khaleed menyertai program Angkasawan ini membuktikan yang rakyat Malaysia mempunyai kecekapan yang tidak kurang berbanding bangsa lain.

Tidak ada apa-apa yang boleh menghalang kita daripada mencapai yang terbaik. Hanya kecekalan, keberanian, semangat ingin berjaya dan tidak mahu tunduk dan mengalah yang akan membawa kita ke mercu kejayaan.

Sekali lagi saya ucapkan tahniah kepada Dr Sheikh Muszaphar, selamat berangkat dan selamat kembali. Kepada, Dr Faiz, walaupun tidak terpilih pada kali ini, saya gembira mendengar bahawa beliau akan berpeluang menyertai program Angkasawan yang kedua di masa hadapan.

Kepada semua pihak dan agensi Kerajaan yang terlibat di dalam menjayakan program Angkasawan ini saya ucapkan tahniah.

Malaysia Boleh!

Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad

Institut Jantung Negara

Oktober 10, 2007

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Now, lets us all pray for the success of this mission and more missions to come, for Malaysians to benefit from all these space mission applications can bring us.

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May Allah s.w.t. bless Angkasawan Negara Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar’s mission that is pride of the nation and the Malaysian public.

Published in: on October 10, 2007 at 11:15  Comments (22)  

What “protection for whistle blowers” is Anwar Ibrahim talking about now?

What protection against whistle blowers is Anwar Ibrahim, Wan Azizah Ismail and the whole PKR talking about now, which the rest of ‘like-minded Malaysians’ are talking about too as well?

In 1997, Anwar as the acting Prime Minister whilst Dato’ Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was on a three month holiday in South America, specifically instructed the Police Special Branch, through its Director CP Dato’ Mohd. Said Awang and Deputy Director II SAC I Dato’ Amir Junus to ‘hunt down’ “whistle blowers” Azizan Abu Bakar and Ummi Halfida Ali and make them retract their earlier letter for the allegations on Anwar’s sexual misconducts and sodomy practices.

The SB located both Azizan and Ummi seeking refuge at Dr. Ristina Majid’s home in Bukit Pantai and the Police had broken through metal grill on the door, to arrest them. When under Police custody, both were ‘tortured’ (a process which was said in court as “turn-over process”) until they agreed to sign the retraction sworn statements against the earlier allegations, by Azizan dated 18 August 1997 and Ummi on 29 August 1997.

All of these were discovered by CID senior investigating officer ACP Musa Hassan when Anwar’s political secretary Azmin Ali made a police report right after the UMNO General Assembly June 1998 on Khalid Jafri’s book “50 Dalil Kenapa Anwar Tidak Boleh Menjadi Perdana Menteri

Malaysians learned about all of these when Anwar Ibrahim was charged on 5 October 1998 and tried in a Kuala Lumpur High Court and Justice Augustine Paul handed down a conviction of six years in prison for this criminal act. All avenues to overturn this judgment has been fully exhausted and till present, Anwar remained a convicted criminal.

So if Anwar Ibrahim himself went against “whistle blowers”, what is he, his darling missus and the rest of the endangered political creatures soon to be extinct called Parti Keadilan Rakyat talking about now? Have they conveniently forgotten this episode a little over ten years ago?

Published in: on October 10, 2007 at 03:27  Comments (5)