Baikunor, Oct 10, 2007, 9.21 pm. Soyuz carrying Sheikh Muszaphar, 35, lifted off smoothly from this desert town in Kazakhstan for a 10-day space mission on the International Space Station (ISS).
The programme 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 RM3.4 billion purchase of 18 Russian-made Sukhoi jet fighters.
Some of us were watching the lift-off "live" on Astro from the National Press Club.
There've been a lot of verbal fights about the decision to send a Malaysian up there. But to quote this person sitting across the table enjoying his glass of wine: "Call him an Angkasawan, a Cosmonaut, a Space Participant, or whatever you like ... that's the first Malaysian in space there!"
Read Soyuz rocket lifts off, carrying three to ISS
Follow the Soyuz on the Angkasawan's official website here.
updates, The day after:
Little Aishah's wish to meet the Angkasawan, here.
Pictures and story of Dr M watching the launch from IJN, here.
The 3 experiments our Cosmonaut will conduct in space, here.
They forgot to credit Dr M!
and in What Next?, this blogger asks: "Or has the scheming started already?"