Wednesday, September 19, 2007

First Angkasawan

Dr Sheih Muszaphar. If all goes as planned, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar will be the first Malaysian astronaut to reach outer space. For years to come, his will be the name our children utter when they learn about science in school. Many will dream of growing up to be like Dr Sheikh Muzaphar the way many of us grew up dreaming to be someone like Yuri Gagarin or Neil Armstrong.

Big Dog was the first to break the news of Dr Sheih's selection in his blog here last night [update: Or did Big Dog really? Check out this posting in www.bluehikari.com dated 14 Sept]. TV3, he said, had a segment in prime time news, quoting foreign sources here. Read Kerp's blog here as well.

The reason why the news is not splashed on the front pages of the local papers and Bernama is simply that they are waiting for the PM to make a forml announcement later this week.

I wanted to write "First Malaysian blogger in space" for the heading of this posting but that might be pushing it. Nevertheless, do check out Dr Sheikh and Capt Dr Faiz Khaleed's Angkasawan Blog.

Congrats Dr Sheih. And Capt Dr Faiz, too! I hope they give you guys something better than datukships when you return.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr Rocky: Just to point out that your link to the blog is an old one. The latest entries are at http://www.angkasawan.com.my/blog/index.php

AHIRUDIN ATTAN said...

thanks anon.

the legend said...

good good...

go for it mr angkasawan...

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if we should be proud of this achievement. There have been many millionaires who paid roughly USD20M to make the journey to the outer space. (I googled 'how much does it cost to make a trip to outer space?').I'm not sure if our government directly or indirectly paid for this trip too.

'Longhorn'

BigDogDotCom said...

Rocky,

If Captain Dr. Faiz Khalid is still serving in the army, he cannot be awarded the "Datukship" at this rank. He has to be promoted to at least Brig. General before he can be awarded this Darjah Kebesaran stature.

Norzu said...

Hi Rocky, actually, another blogger had broke the story earlier here

Apparently Nasa had announced it on its website.

AHIRUDIN ATTAN said...

thanks norzu. potong stim big dog, no doubt, but you're right. apologies to bluehikari.

big dog, you mean all the ribuan datuks out there are equivalent to Brig Gens in our army?

that's a thought.

BigDogDotCom said...

There goes my twenty minute fame! :(

Yes Rocky, there is a directive that one must be at least a Brig Gen, First Admiral and/or SAC I rank before anyone could qualify to be awarded any Darjah Kebesaran which carry the "Datukship" title.

Same goes to any Civil Servants, which include university professors. That is why at least one must reach the position of Associate Professor to qualify for a "datukship" evaluation, let alone the investure.

Norzu said...

alamak, apologies to big dog. hehe.

Zainal A. Kasim said...

They risk their life to go through the risky training before one of them can be selected as our first "angkasawan".

Both of them deserve to be awarded Datuk and a special post to be created in ANGKASA or Ministry of Science promoting the our space initiatives. Both of them should be given at least JUSA C post.

I hope...

www.c-bok.blogspot.com

Nastassia Larisa said...

I am a Russian and I am really proud of my country to be able to help others to achieve their dreams. To be able to help a Malaysian or rather we say to let this Dr. to come along is really proud thing to do. I hope we can able to reduce the price in future so that we can send more Malaysian to Space, maybe your Prime Minister or UMNO can have the next general assembly in space too. Oil per barrel is above US80 now so everything is becoming affordable.

Pasquale said...

I don't know man and I hate to rain on anyone's parade but it is just a multi-million space tourist for this guy and he is indeed the lucky one, but an astronaut? I doubt if he is qualified to be called one sorry! I'd rather the money be spent on something else, we have to many glories already, enough already!
Back on earth an eight year old was brutally buggered and sodomised and no amount of mega projects can begin to pretend to impress me, when the people do not feel safe!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Longhorn. We should not be dishing out the Datukship so easily. It's meaningless. A space program for Malaysia? Dream on ...

The millions can be better used to assist the poor, not burnt in space. The taxpayers are paying for his trip to space. Will the rakyat all get Datukships?

So he's been to space. Now we have to worship him as well?
Please ...

This is exactly the kind of stupid culture that we in Malaysia practise. The billions that we waste on stupid projects like these should be used to build better hospitals, better schools, better parks, cleaner toilets, fight crime, etc.

Certainly not send a Melayu to space.

Pissed Off said...

Hi Natassia ... please do not suggest a stupid idea like having the UMNO General Assembly in space. The stupid clowns in UMNO might actually burn billions of taxpayers/ money doing that. As it is, they already don't have any problem doing this.

You sound like someone totally ignorant of Malaysian politics. UMNO is no angel. You are indeed speaking to none other than the devil in the flesh. UMNO has raped Malaysia many times over.

So don't make a stupid suggestion like this.

Anonymous said...

Let's be realistic here...If the playing field was a level one, this guy won't be the chosen one. Discrimination has gone out to space.

madness said...

Now this angkasawan is going into our history books as a Malay hero right? Come on ... people, as a nation, surely we have better things to do with our money and resources than to send a Malay astronaut to space to create 'sejarah Melayu moden' isn't it?

Is the Malay self-esteem at its all-time low that UMNO needs to waste this kind of precious national resources?

What is so great about a Malay astronaut going to space? It is not as if our homegrown Malaysian space technology is sending our own astronaut to space?

And I am very sure our kids are all not going to be pursuing aerospace engineering or anything related to outer space because we send one angkasawan to space?

It takes more than an astronaut in space to generate a genuine interest in science and technology.

sasan said...

People ... check out what The Watchman had to say about our Angkasawan programme ...

http://kowsai.blogspot.com/2007/06/malaysian-space-programme-joke-of.html

I agree with The Watchman. It's a joke. A BIG joke.

Trashed said...

Malaysia's space program ? That will be a joke.

We have a nuclear program too but I don't see any product of that.

Shouldn't we be investing into the future when oil runs out ? What is going to help us then ? Nuclear power or space oddities ? Hydro-electric dams, solar cells, coal fired plants, bio fuel or shall we burn all the trees ?

I really hope that the govt has a plan for our future needs and make that transparent.

This space astronaut episode is just not necessary other than for some rah rah news item.

Zainal A. Kasim said...

Madness,

I beg to differ. There is a lot to learn from our space programme not just about sending Malay to space.

I am proud of our astronaut and I we have to begin somewhere before we can have our own homegrown Malaysian space technology.

Forget about politic. Focus on the positive side. My kid and your kid in the future might benefits from what ever we are doing at now.

Roxanne said...

You do talk sense now and then pasquale and I agree with you.

The first female Muslim in space is Anousheh Ansari. She's an Iranian multimillionairess.

Technology is so advanced today that a plane can even land itself without a pilot. So, if you got the cash, female or male, Malaysian or idiot, you can go anywhere, even to Mars one day.

There's no excuse for sending a tourist into space with Malaysian taxpayers' money when it can be better used fighting crime and keeping them SAFE instead.

This reminds me of the stupid Malaysian expedition to the North Pole.

BigDogDotCom said...

No physical money was spent for this historical space exploration mission for Malaysia. Malaysia was given this opportunity through offset program.

It is an extremely great opportunity for younger Malaysians to be inspired to "reach for the stars".

setiawan blues said...

Agree with Sdr Zainal.

This is for our kids and theirs. So shut up if you speak and think for yourself but not the generations after us.

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

i'm totally with encik zainal and bigdog. nuff said.

oh, and i believe they hv dropped the silly teh tarik idea, which is a welcome move.

Anonymous said...

Let us keep our kids safe first if they're going anyway at all. Dead kids go no where after us. Start speaking and thinking for them and shut up for yourself Setiawan Blues !

Anonymous said...

BigDogDotCom said...
No physical money was spent for this historical space exploration mission for Malaysia. Malaysia was given this opportunity through offset program.

Wow, you really sound like an UMNO politician now. So, the Russians are dishing out free lunches now, aren't they? How come we are not seeing Indonesians, Vietnamese, Sudanese in Russian Space Program. And, what offset program are you talking about? Built-in cost in some defense contracts?

Come-on BigDog, I thought you are straighter than this.

-Hokies-

Dr V. Pakiam said...

If our idiotic so-called leaders think about our next generation, they will keep the country safe. They will spend our money wisely, not rape the country many times over with rampant corruption. It is people like you Setiawan Blues and Zainal A. Kasim that continue to drag the country down to the dogs.

Yes, we desperately need to start somewhere. But space technology? Dropping a Proton in the South Pole? An expedition to the North Pole? A paid trip to space? All on taxpayers' money? Come on. Think! Stupid expeditions like these are supposed to inspire us and our next generation?

I'm preparing my kids to be global citizens and go elsewhere on this planet to live. Malaysia has gone to the dogs.

Anybody wants to take a bet with me? We will never have a locally developed space programme or technology in this country.

Why? We can't even see beyond the stupid and totally discriminatory New Economic Policy. We can't even treat our citizens equally. The Malays in this country continue to crave corruption, get embroiled in religious arguments, allow religious leaders to influence their minds, allow policies that favour the majority to thrive, etc.

And we dare think about developing space technology?

Nowhere in this world has policies protecting the majority. Affirmative action is designed with the minorities in mind. It protects the minority from the majority. In Malaysia, it's the other way round. Has anybody thought about this?

Dropping a Proton in the South Pole? An expedition to the North Pole? A paid trip to space? All on taxpayers' money? Are these all to declare to the non-Malays and the world that Malays Boleh? They actually do do a single thing to uplift the Malay pride. People think ...

If the majority in this country has any pride at all, begin with treating all citizens equally. Begin with dissolving UMNO. The party is irrelevant in the 21st Century, especially with its racist idealogies and policies. Begin by getting rid of corruption in the administrative and judicial systems. Begin by giving its citizens basic human rights. Begin by granting freedom of speech and the right to congregate. Begin by improving education and healthcare. Begin by cleaning up civil service. Begin by allowing a good Opposition in Parliament. The government of the day must finance the Opposition. It's part of an efficient democratic process. Begin by encouraging its citizens to be honest, hard working people. Not people who are only interested in lining their own pockets.

Sending an astronaut to space is a luxury we can ill afford. This space trip doesn't contribute a single thing to the betterment of Malaysia and its people. Period!

So Setiawan Blues and Zainal A. Kasim, think before you say stupid things, and in the process legitimise the stupid things that the current UMNO clowns are doing.

Bigdogdotcom said: "No physical money was spent for this historical space exploration mission for Malaysia. Malaysia was given this opportunity through offset program."

So it's a barter trade. But must we trade it for a trip to space? Can't we barter trade with the Russians for medical education for our aspiring doctors?

My point is: there are better things to do with our millions. The money should not be wasted in efforts to prop up Malay pride.

Dropping a Proton in the South Pole? An expedition to the North Pole? Sending a man to space?

Has anybody wondered why only Malays are sponsored for these expeditions? I'm not trying or being racist here. But can anyone tell me why only the Malays are involved in these projects?

I remember vividly, there was an Indian lady who was also shortlisted for this space program, but didn't make the cut to be the finalists.

In my humble opinion, she should have been one of the finalists.

Somebody please tell me ....

Anonymous said...

Waste money. Full stop

Datuk Z said...

It's not just a waste of money. It's a waste of billions of taxpayers' money. And that is sinful from an Islamic point of view.

BigDogDotCom said...

Pls find out what is an 'offset program' before criticizing me or making smart sweeping statements.

No physical money was spent on this historical space mission. If there is, its just a cost to fly the two doctors back and forth from Kazakhstan, their food, etc. The training and development of this space mission is an offset program (usually offset programs are on transfer of technology, re-training of pilots competency etc).

Like when one has a credit card and use it, the credit card company give you bonus/reward points. NO WAY one will get money/cash rebate and instead they allow you to hv gifts/merchandise in return (when you collect certain points).

If you don't utilise the reward points or in this case, 'offset program', it will just go down the drain.

For this particular offset program opportunity, the Malaysian Govt decided that Malaysians be trained for space missions.

If the offset program is not utilised for something like this, then it will be something like air-to-air combat competency skills, cataloging of technical inventories or something else with regards to training, to support current military industrial programs.

So its a bloody good decision to utilise the offset program for a space mission training and expedition program.

pissed off said...

Sounds like the Russians had a much better deal because the UMNO clowns are so bloody stupid!

Hey BigDog, I really think you should be finding out what this offset program is before concluding the Angkasawan Program is a "bloody good decision."

I fully agree with Dr V. Pakiam that this Angkasawan Program is a bloody big waste of taxpayers' money, and you can do nothing to convince me otherwise.

You think the Russians are stupid like the UMNO politicians of this country? You think they would dish out free lunches? They have to owe us something before they offer you an offset program. What does that say to you? There's no free lunch my friend. Wake up!

Just check how much palm oil the Russians bought from us without paying hard, cold cash? So offset program it is.

So BigDog ... I also agree with Anon ... you really sound like an UMNO politician.

sasan said...

Just look at Jakim's pre-occupation with man-made religious rules for the poor astronaut. Is the mission to prove that a Muslim can fulfill his religious obligations in space or is the mission about carrying out some serious scientific research?

I'm totally confused ...

How on earth can our 'space program' go anywhere with this kind of clowns making decisions?

This mission is nothing more than wasting precious taxpayers' $$$ to show off that some Melayu is so smart and can go to space.

Sigh ...
_________________________________________________

Jakim on How to be a Good Muslim in Space

Malaysia's first astronaut will blast off into space next month armed with guidelines from Muslim authorities on how to pray, wash and even be "buried" in space.

Two Malaysian candidates, a doctor and an army dentist who are both Muslims, are undergoing training in Russia with the winner expected to be announced on Friday, ahead of the 11-day space mission which starts on Oct 10.

Other Muslims have ventured into space, but none during the fasting month of Ramadan which began last week, and Malaysia's Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) is hopeful the astronaut will choose to fast during his voyage.

"Conditions at the International Space Station which are so different from those on earth are not a hindrance for the astronaut to fulfil his obligations as a Muslim," it said in a 20-page booklet.

"In difficult conditions, Islam has conveniences to ensure that religious worship can still be performed."

Because the space station circles the earth 16 times a day, theoretically a Muslim would have to pray 80 times a day while staying there.

But the guidelines stipulate that the astronaut need only pray five times a day, just as on earth, and that the times should follow the location where the spacecraft blasted off from - in this case, Baikonur in Russia.

In the unlikely event the Muslim astronaut dies in space, the religious directives said his body should be brought back to earth for the usual burial rituals.

If that's not possible, he should be "interred" in space after a brief ceremony, though the guidelines failed to explain how that should be done.

Eating halal

The booklet covers Islamic washing rituals required before prayer, saying that if water is not available the astronaut can symbolically "sweep holy dust" onto the face and hands "even if there is no dust" in the space station.

There are also suggestions on how to pray in a zero-gravity environment.

"During the prayer ritual, if you can't stand up straight, you can hunch. If you can't stand, you can sit. If you can't sit, you should lie down," according to the booklet.

Muslims are required to eat food that is halal, which rules out pork and its by-products, alcohol and animals not slaughtered according to Quranic procedures are forbidden - but again in space there is flexibility.

"If it is doubtful that the food has been prepared in the halal manner, you should eat just enough to ward off hunger," the booklet said.

Jakim said it held a conference with the Malaysian National Space Agency last year to identify the issues and problems facing a Muslim astronaut, and compiled the results in the booklet released earlier this year.

Malaysia's would-be astronauts were chosen from thousands of hopefuls in a nationwide contest.

The project was conceived in 2003 when Russia agreed to send a Malaysian to the space station as part of a billion-dollar purchase of 18 Sukhoi 30-MKM fighter jets.

kayu manis said...

The project to send a Malaysian to space was conceived in 2003 when Russia agreed to send a Malaysian to the ISS as part of Malaysia's billion-dollar purchase of 18 Sukhoi 30-MKM fighter jets.

So bigdogdotcom ... did you say we technically didn't spend a single cent on this stupid project? Sure or not?? I don't think so brader.

Care to investigate how much our dear DPM profited from this one deal alone?

The Russians decided to give us a discount of US$20 million (the amount they charge for space tourism) for the billions we spent on the fighter jets? So nice of them isn't it?

And we didn't spend a single cent you say??

Anonymous said...

Wat everlah, as long as Melayu can be the first, gadai tanah, gadai bangsa pun boleh.

amoker said...

The project to send a Malaysian to space was conceived in 2003 when Russia agreed to send a Malaysian to the ISS as part of Malaysia's billion-dollar purchase of 18 Sukhoi 30-MKM fighter jets.

I get it!! Forget the training of pilots till one of the SU30 come crashing down. Btw, the cost are factored in liao la. And, am sure that the whole contingent of supporters are sent to Kazakh/ Russia / etc. than just the 2 docs. If not, how they take all those inane documentaries and photoshots for advertisement in newspapers. I remember one Asian Games where the officials outnumber the atheletes.

Does having a handsome 'doctor' makes me have more interest in science? Nope, but watching CSI does .. and cheaper.

Anonymous said...

"as long as Melayu can be the first".

First man in space?

Don't make my toes laugh.

Anonymous said...

nothing is free in life. for example, i bought some new software recently and the dealer said the price of the software is x dollars but they have a promotion where you pay x+1 dollars you can have a 'free' monitor. The monitor was not really free since i had to pay the +1 dollar. so the astro trip is the russian's promotional price for buyinhg the planes.....if we did not go for the 'promotional' price, the planes would be cheaper....

Anonymous said...

You guys can complain your hearts out. Nothing will unchange what has been brokered. The same goes for what has been and what will be. Just too bad.....
Just go about living your usual lives and not complain too much. Just be thankful to the gomen for whatever crumbs which comes your way.

Anonymous said...

just shut up and read:
http://www.malaysia-today.net/blog2006/newsncom.php?itemid=8805

04/10: Russian envoy confirms that Malaysian is not a ‘mere passenger’
Category: General
Posted by: Raja Petra
By JANE RITIKOS
The Star

Malaysia is full of sarcastism

xax0506 said...

you are all jealous! HAHA
mere complaints..
i pay tax too!

what have u all done to make malaysia a better place
than complaining here and there?
who 'pay' our wages? be it you're self employed or 'makan gaji',
its none than the government itself that provide the environment for economics to prosper.

but i guess we malaysian cant appreciate it enough..
buat ini tak boleh itu tak boleh.
proton salah tak proton salah.
then duduk dalam rumah diam-diam la!
where and when to start then?
if your child lost amidst the pasar malam stalls, is it your government fault??

stop whining..
this is a peaceful n beautiful country.so much we have achieved this far if not those visionaries.
shut up you dont dare-to-dream.
just think positive.
chiaoo..

Anonymous said...

you are all jealous! HAHA
mere complaints..
i pay tax too!

what have u all done to make malaysia a better place
than complaining here and there?
who 'pay' our wages? be it you're self employed or 'makan gaji',
its none than the government itself that provide the environment for economics to prosper.

but i guess we malaysian cant appreciate it enough..
buat ini tak boleh itu tak boleh.
proton salah tak proton salah.
then duduk dalam rumah diam-diam la!
where and when to start then?
if your child lost amidst the pasar malam stalls, is it your government fault??

stop whining..
this is a peaceful n beautiful country.so much we have achieved this far if not those visionaries.
shut up you dont dare-to-dream.
just think positive.
chiaoo..

joyce said...

dr.syeikh will be a beautiful legenda of malaysia...

Anonymous said...

Our PM keep on saying that the angkasawan have achived it mission.What mission?. Pak Lah.you mean the experiment of protein enzyme crystal that we keep on reminding our people that he is doing something up there.Well,too bad,Last I heard it might be ruined due to the impact.So what elese that we have acomplished???.

Madihah said...

This will be a beautiful legend. well, I see... Long ago, my dream was to be an astronaut. but the chance is to low. so i just canceled my dream, and i think Scientist may be my next destination. But Dr. Sheikh and Dr.Faiz relies that it is not possible to be. I just appreciate them so much.