Angkasawan Negara landed!

The Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft carrying the Angkasawan Negara and the crew of ISS Expedition XV landed in a ballistic trajectory ten minutes after re-entry at a location 400km north east of the targetted landing spot at 6.43pm (Malaysian time).

More news will follow suit of well being of the crew and scientific specimens and experiments result conducted in space.


This is Reuters’ report, as of 7.05pm:


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MOSCOW (Reuters) – Malaysia’s first astronaut landed safely in Kazakhstan on Sunday with two Russian cosmonauts after spending 11 days in space, a Reuters witness at Moscow’s mission control reported.

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, an orthopaedic surgeon and university lecturer from Kuala Lumpur, returned to earth in a Russian-made Soyuz capsule with International Space Station commander, Fyodor Yurchikhin, and flight engineer, Oleg Kotov.

© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.


This is’s report, as of 7.24pm:

October 21, 2007 19:24 PM

Angkasawan Returns Safely To Earth E-mail this news to a friend Printable version of this news



From Abdul Rahman Ahmad

MOSCOW, Oct 21 (Bernama) — After 11 days in space, Malaysian angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha returned to earth, marking the success of Malaysia’s first space mission and the country’s active participation in the space industry that was once a dream beyond imagination.

The Soyuz TMA-10, carrying him and two other crew member, Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov, landed at the space drop zone in Arkylk, Kazakhstan, some 1,500km from here at about 2.37pm local time (6.37pm Malaysian time) after travelling three hours and 23 minutes from the International Space Station, ISS.

His safe return was received with great relief and applause by the crowd at the packed Mission Control Centre, here. They included Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, and Science, Technology and Innovations Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis.

High ranking officials of the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos, including its Director, Anatoli Perminov, were also present to witness the landing.

Others present were the angkasawan’s parents, Datuk Sheikh Mustapha Sheikh Shukor and Datin Zuraidah Sheikh Ahmad and his elder brother, Sheikh Ahmad.

Immediately after the landing, a logo of the Malaysian angkasawan mission was affixed on the wall of the Malaysian Technical Control Centre, a symbol of Malaysia’s success in completing the mission.

As the spacecraft undocked from the ISS at 11.15am local time, many prayed for a safe landing for the Soyuz TMA-10 as the impact from the fall would be great after travelling at a speed of 755 metres per second upon entering the earth atmosphere.

But the impact was minimised after the parachutes were released from the spacecraft at a height of 10km before hitting the ground.

Six helicopters were deployed to locate the spacecraft.

The Director of the Malaysian Space Programme, Col Dr Zulkeffeli Mat Jusoh was at the landing site to take Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor to a temporary medical centre to rehabilitate the Malaysian angkasawan from the microgravity he had experienced for the past 11 days while in space.

The Malaysian angkasawan was later taken to Chakalovsky airbase near the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, Star City, here where a ceremony would be held to receive him by Najib.

And the Malaysian angkasawan will stay in Moscow for the next two weeks for quarantine and rehabilitation before returning to Malaysia.

This is The Star’s report on the successful landing of Angkasawan Negara, as of Monday, 22 October 2007:



Angkasawan in good condition

Angkasawan’s return to earth

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s first Angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor completed his 11-day stint in space and returned safely to Earth on Sunday.

Safe return: Dr Sheikh Muszaphar getting off a helicopter in Kustanay after landing in the Kazakhstan steppe on board the Soyuz TMA 10 space capsule yesterday. (Inset) Sheikh Mustapha praying before his son’s landing. — Reuters

The Soyuz TMA-10 capsule which brought him back to Earth, together with commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov, landed in Kazakhstan at 6.37pm Malaysian time.

There were anxious moments though, when Nasa, which was broadcasting the event live, said the capsule had veered off course and landed some 340km from the target landing spot in Arkylk, Kazakhstan.

Muszaphar’s mother Datin Zuraida Sheikh Ahmad, who was watching, broke down in tears.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis and their wives at the control centre then offered a thanksgiving prayer.

Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) chief Anatoli Perminov then congratulated Najib.

A recovery team comprising six military Russian helicopters later located the capsule and brought out the cosmonauts at 6.52pm, beginning with Yurchikhin, followed by Dr Sheikh Muszaphar and finally Kotov.

They were brought to a tent set up next to the capsule and given immediate medical attention as part of the recovery procedure.

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar’s health was reported to be in “very good” condition. He had earlier bid farewell to the crew at the International Space Station where he spent nine days conducting experiments.

He also hugged and shook the hands of Russian flight engineer Yuri Malenchencko and new ISS commander Peggy Whitson, both of whom had flown with him on the Soyuz TMA-11 on Oct 10.

The returning Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft undocked from the ISS at 3.14pm Malaysian time and began its quick descent to Earth.

At 5.47pm, the capsule commenced its de-orbit burn and engine rockets fired for just over four minutes to slow the craft down in preparation for its separation into three parts, one of which – called the descent module – contained the crew members. The other two parts were disposed of in space.

The craft entered the outer reaches of the earth’s atmosphere at 6.14pm. It then picked up speed as it began to be pulled by Earth’s gravity, travelling at speeds over 200m per second.

Once in the atmosphere, the external part of the capsule heated up to a temperature of as high as 9,000 degrees Kelvin (8,700°C).

There was also a 10-minute “communications blackout” when the capsule entered the atmosphere – a normal occurrence caused by a surge of overwhelming heat generated by the capsule, rendering any form of communication impossible.

There was also suspense when it took a few moments for the Mission Control Centre (MCC) in Moscow to re-establish contact with the capsule and to confirm that the crew inside were safe.

When confirmation came, there was applause from the Malaysians at the control centre.

Published in: on October 21, 2007 at 18:51  Comments (3)  

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad discharged from IJN today

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, 82, who underwent a landmark second multiple by-pass on 4 September and an open chest debridement surgery on 22 September, will be discharged this morning (10.30am) from IJN.

The surgeons, physicians and other essential cardiothoracic professionals in IJN are happy with his progress and confident he is well enough to leave the dedicated coronary hospital seven weeks after admission and being infirmed.

An official media statement would be issued later by IJN, via his PA Sufi Yusoff.

We would like to express our utmost gratitude and appreciation to the hardworking and dedicated surgeons, physicians and all IJN staff who had cared for him through out these trying seven weeks.

A special tribute also to Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohd. Ali, all the children and the rest of the family and private staff of them, for their love, dedication and support for Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

To the rest, for their doas and prayers, may Allah s.w.t. repay your kindness and sincerity to see Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad well again.

* IJN’s media statement via Sufi Yusoff, 11.30pm:


Institut Jantung Negara, 21 October…..


YABhg Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad has been discharged from Institut Jantung Negara today.

IJN doctors are happy that Tun Dr Mahathir has made encouraging progress in his post-surgical rehabilitation process since undergoing a second surgery for wound debridement on Sept 22.

He had been admitted to the IJN on Sept 2 for a coronary bypass procedure which was done on Sept 4.

Tun Dr Mahathir is expected to continue with physiotherapy exercises at home.

During this post-surgical rehabilitation process he is also expected to undergo periodical checkups at the IJN.



For media enquiries please contact Sufi Yusoff



This is’s story on the discharge from IJN, as of 12.20pm:

General October 21, 2007 12:20 PM
Dr M Discharged From IJN E-mail this news to a friend Printable version of this news



KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 (Bernama) — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was discharged from the National Heart Institute (IJN) this morning, 47 days after undergoing a second coronary bypass operation on Sept 4.

The former prime minister has made encouraging progress in his post-surgical rehabilitation process since undergoing a second surgery for a wound debridement on Sept 22, the IJN said in a statement today.

A cheerful-looking Dr Mahathir waved to the public at the IJN as he walked out of the VIP ward at 10.20am in the company of his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamed Ali, his children and doctors to a waiting car.

Dr Mahathir will continue with his physiotherapy exercises at home and come for periodic check-ups at the institute as part of his post-surgical rehabilitation process, it said.

His daughter, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, told reporters at the IJN lobby that doctors have advised her father to rest at home and continue with the rehabilitation programmes and follow-up treatment.

“My father is happy to be able to go home. He wants to be in a different environment and wishes to rest,” she said, adding that the family would hold thanksgiving prayers soon.

Marina said Dr Mahathir expressed his gratitude to IJN staff who took care of him during his stay at the country’s premier heart centre.

“We have agreed to discharge Tun Mahathir now that he has fully recovered,” said Tan Sri Dr Yahya Awang who headed the panel of heart surgeons who operated on the former prime minister.

Two nurses from IJN would observe Dr Mahathir at home over the next few days, he told reporters.

Other members of the surgical team were chief of cardiothoracic surgery of the US Mayo Clinic, Prof Hartzell Schaff, Datuk Dr Rozali Wathooth, Datuk Dr Azhari Yakub, Datuk Dr Venugopal Balchand and Dr Mohamed Ezani Mohd Taib.

The anaesthetics team led by Datuk Dr Mohamed Hassan Mohamed Ariff included Dr Sharifah Suraya Syed Tahir, Datuk Dr Syed Abdul Aziz Syed Zain and Dr Nor Azlina Abdul Jalil.


Also please stay tune for something from Dato’ Marina Mahathir, on behalf of the Mahathirs.

*Photos are courtesy of photo-journo-blogger, Minaq Jinggo

Published in: on October 21, 2007 at 10:07  Comments (1)  

In memory of Mustaffa Dapat

Allahyarham Mustaffa b. Dapat (b. 21 October 1964, d. 28 August 2004).


Mustaffa Dapat was born to a former British Army employee, Dapat b. Selamat. He grew up in Kampung Stulang Baru, Johor Bahru, Johor and attended Larkin School. His father by then became a Postman at Bukit Panjang Post Office, Bukit Panjang, Singapore while his mother run an eatery stall in Larkin.

Later he attended MARA Junior Science College, Kuantan, Pahang (1977-1981). He went to Oklahoma to study engineering but later transferred to Ohio University in Columbus, Ohio and earned a bachelor in aeronautical engineering in 1986.

He came back to Malaysia during the first economic recession. After his mother passed away in 1987 to stomach ulcer, Mustaffa enrolled in the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) KD Pelanduk as a Cadet Officer. He graduated and commissioned in 1989 as the best cadet officer and earned the golden sabre from HM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong, beating more than a dozen ex RMC cadet officers in his intake.

He was initially destined to be trained as the engineer for the RMN’s Air Wing KD Rajawali. However, still as a Sub. Lt., he was sent to Royal Australian Navy submarine school near Sydney in 1992 instead. He earned his ‘dolphins’ in 1993, the first RMN officer to be certified as submariner, along with Lt. Abdul Rahman Ayob and Senior Petty Officer Suhaimi after the training in an RAN Oberon Class submarine.


His track record was so impressive that the RAN, through Australian MINDEF, requested their Foreign Office to ask MINDEF, through Wisma Putra for Lt. Mustaffa to come and serve for another tour of duty, in the RAN submarine squadron. During this time, he participated in a submarine exercise with the US Navy.


After serving ten years of short commission service, Mustaffa left the RMN in 1997 due to economic reasons. He joined ATSC Sdn. Bhd. and served as the Project Manager for the MiG 29N maintenance program, based in TUDM Kuantan, under former RMAF Brig. Gen. Richard Robless Sr. He later joined Rajawali Aerospace Sdn. Bhd. as a General Manager, also following Robless.

In 2001 when Perimekar Sdn. Bhd. put up the bid for the submarine project, Mustaffa was employed as a consultant to the project. He later joined Perimekar as a Project Manager and facilitated the project management during the lengthy technical negotiations between DCNi, Thales (now Armaris), Perimekar and the RMN. The contract was signed in June 2002 for the acquisition of two Scorpene Class SSK submarines. By then, LTAT through Boustead Bhd. was a 51% shareholder of Perimekar.

Mustaffa was sent to Cherbourg, France in December 2002, to facilitate for the Perkimekar’s contract to ensure the RMN Submarine Project Team’s work supervising and monitoring the construction, testing and commissioning of the two submarines are fully completed, according to the contract.


In late July, Mustaffa fell ill due to viral fever and was admitted to the Louis Pasteur Hospital, Cherbourg in early August. Five days later he was transferred to another hospital in Caen where he remained for the next two and half weeks. Within that time, it was diagnosed that Mustaffa suffered a rare penicillin allergy called ‘Steven Johnson syndrome’. He went into a coma and eventually just before six a.m. Saturday, 28 August 2004, Mustaffa Dapat died never regained consciousness.

His body was bathe and kapan (covered with burial shroud) at the Caen mosque. Then the remains was taken to Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport on the afternoon of Monday 30 August 2007 and was flown back to Kuala Lumpur onboard Malaysia Airlines flight MH 021 at noon, national day of 2004. His remains arrived in KLIA on 5.30 am 1 September 2004, accompanied by his wife Masniza Mansor, his 8 year old son Muhammad Faza Aiman, his three month old baby Misha Elyssa, Puan NorAishah M. Nasri (wife of Deputy Leader, Submarine Project Team Capt. Rosland Omar), his best friend and fellow submariner (who also represented the RMN), Cdr. Abdul Rahman Ayob and Perimekar manager based in Cartagena, Spain, Anuar. Lt. Cdr. Zulhelmi Ithnain and Lt. Cdr. Baharuddin Md. Nor were there at KLIA to receive the body and those who accompanied the remains of Allahyarham Mustaffa Dapat.


His was then remains taken to Masjid Kampung Chempaka, Kampung Tunku, Petaling Jaya and later was interned at Kampung Tunku Cemetery that noon. Relatives, former colleagues from the RMN and the Defense Attache’ of the French Embassy of Kuala Lumpur were there to pay their respect. So were representatives of DCNi and Armaris.

Mustaffa Dapat would have been forty three today if he was still with us. His passing was missed by the entire submariner community in this country, especially the RMN. I remembered specifically in LIMA ’01, during breakfast at Awana Porto Malai, former Chief of Navy Laksamana Tan Sri Ilyas Md. Din (then Fleet Operation Commander Laksda Dato’ Ilyas Md. Din) said to me “Mustaffa’s departure from the Navy was a great loss to us but later proven to be a great service to the nation. He would one day made Chief of Navy had he stayed on and served”. So did former RMN Inspector General Laksmana Pertama Danyal Balagopal confirm the same point, separately.

Adieu, mon kapitan.

Published in: on October 21, 2007 at 00:58  Comments (16)