Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Malaysian in space

As you read this, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor would have became Malaysia's first astronaut as he blast off into space in a Russian Soyuz rocket.

In a voyage seen as breaking new boundaries for Malaysia and Muslims everywhere, the 35 year-old doctor would travel to the International Space Station (ISS) with Russian cosmonaut Yury Malenchenko and American Peggy Whitson. He was to spend about nine days onboard the ISS, arriving at the orbiting station near the end of the holy month of Ramadan and staying there for Eid, when he will treat the long-term crew to festive Malaysian food.

Malaysian officials have described the voyage as a national milestone for their country as they marked 50 years of independence. It is also the 50th anniversary of space travel as Sputnik 1, the very first space satellite was launched in 1957. The space trip was arranged as part of a billion-dollar purchase by Malaysia of Russian fighter jets.

I say the Malaysian are getting their money worth. Here's hoping a safe trip to the first Malaysian in space.

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