Sunday, October 21, 2007

Welcome Home Angkasawan Dr Sheikh Muszaphar

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar dijangka mendarat di bumi pada 6 petang waktu tempatan (8 malam waktu Malaysia)21 Oktober.

NASA SpaceFlight News:- As Expedition 15 wraps up and prepares to return home, the Expedition 16 crew members are busy preparing for the arrival of space shuttle Discovery. . At a change of command ceremony Friday afternoon, the Expedition 15 crew formally handed over command of the station to Expedition 16.

The crews will bid their final farewells Saturday night, as the Expedition 15 crew, Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov, board their Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft for the return to Earth. They will undock from the station around 3:14 a.m. EDT Sunday and land in the steppes of Kazakhstan around 6:37 a.m.

Joining Expedition 15 for the journey home is spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, a Malaysian flying under an agreement with the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos). He arrived at the station with the Expedition 16 crew, Whitson and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko, on Oct 12.

Image above: The crew members onboard the International Space Station pose for a group photo in the Destiny laboratory of the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

** 55 minutes video Farewell & Soyuz Hatch Closure coverage ** ( video quality not very good)

Facts on Angkasawan Programme

What is so significant about this mission and the Angkasawan Programme by whole? The government hopes that this will inspire Malaysians to achieve higher goals and aim for greater dreams because the sky is no longer the limit . The rationale of this mission is to motivate young Malaysians that everything is possible with effort and to excel in various fields in order to reach the higher echelons of the developed society. Malaysia's VISION 2020 is to become a fully developed nation by 2020.

More money needs to be allocated for scientific research and development for Malaysia to experience a "big bang " in this sector. "We should be spending three per cent of our gross domestic product on scientific research and development. It makes sense to spend now as it will be an investment in knowledge infrastructure."

The experiments being conducted by Dr Muszaphar include drug resistance, protein crystallisation and mutation of cancer cells from several local universities such as Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

"The cost of sending one man into space should not be questioned as it hails the country stepping into the space programme. This is a genuine scientific project,"