Pic Source: Angkasawan
Engineers at a Russian-leased space launch site in Kazakhstan are making final preparations for the flight of Malaysia's first man in space. He will travel to the International Space Station with a Russian cosmonaut and a U.S. astronaut.
The Soyuz spacecraft is set for launch Wednesday 10 Oct 2007 from the Baikonur space center. It will carry Malaysian Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor into orbit along with astronaut Peggy Whitson and cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko.
During the 12-day mission, Shukor will conduct a range of scientific experiments on space radiation and its effects on cells and microbes, as well as tests with proteins for a potential HIV vaccine. Shukor is to return to Earth October 21 while the American and the Russian will stay as part of the space station's new crew.
The mission coincides with the last days of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, prompting Malaysian religious authorities to set special guidelines on how Shukor is to observe fasting requirements while in space.
A view of our beautiful Earth From Space
UPDATE: 21 OCT 2007
Glitch sends Soyuz off-course, but it returns safely to Earth
(Kazakhstan): Malaysia's first Angkasawan and two Russian cosmonauts survived a rough descent on Sunday after a technical glitch sent their Soyuz spacecraft on a steeper-than-normal path during their return to Earth, officials said.
The Russian spacecraft landed safely at 6.37pm Malaysian time.
and all three were feeling fine, officials said.
LANDING AND RECOVERY OF SOYUZ
The landing capsule carrying Russians Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov, and Malaysian Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, landed short of the designated landing site at 1606 IST, Russia's Mission Control spokesman Valery Lyndin said. The crew was unharmed, he said.
The spacecraft deviated from the intended path because of a computer glitch that sent the spacecraft on a steeper-than-usual descent trajectory, the so-called ballistic descent, Lyndin said.
"That meant that the crew were subjected to higher than normal gravity load on their descent," Lyndin told The Associated Press.
Russian search and rescue teams quickly located the craft, which landed just under 340 kilometres west of the designated landing site near Arkalyk in north-central Kazakhstan, NASA reported on its Web site. It said all three crew members were feeling fine.
Russian Space Agency chief Anatoly Perminov said space officials and experts "experienced a few tense moments," but added that the crew was in good condition.
"All crew members have been recovered and they are feeling quite well," Perminov said at a news conference at Mission Control.
UPDATE: 19 OCT 2009
ANGKASAWAN Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar is set for a new journey next year, but it’s not into outerspace.
The 37-year-old will get married to his girlfriend of eight years Dr Halina Mohd Yunus.
And he has chosen a special date – Oct 10, 2010 (10-10-10) to end his bachelorhood. It also marks the third anniversary of his mission to the International Space Station.
The engagement has been fixed for Jan 1, said the Selayang Hospital doctor.
“It’s time for me to end my bachelorhood as I’m not getting any younger. I am a man who loves to have a family and I adore children,” he said.
He related that he was smitten by Dr Halina during his time as a lecturer at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Hospital.
“She was my student when she was training as a doctor at the hospital when I was lecturing there.
“It was not so much her outer beauty that attracted me but her inner beauty. That was what captured my heart,” he said.
Malaysian astronaut Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor married Dr Halina Mohd Yunos
Malaysian astronaut Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor married Dr Halina Mohd Yunos here Sunday, on the auspicious 10.10.10 date.