Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Malaysian astronaut's rocket rolled out to launchpad

your taxi is waiting
by Staff Writers
Baikonur, Kazakhstan (AFP) Oct 8, 2007
The Russian rocket due to take Malaysia's first astronaut into orbit was raised into position on Monday ready for a launch seen by Malaysian officials as a national milestone.

The 50-metre (160-foot) Soyuz rocket bearing the Malaysian, Russian and US flags was eased out of its hangar by a train locomotive for the five-kilometre (three-mile) journey to its launch pad as the sun broke over the horizon at Baikonur cosmodrome.

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, a doctor and part-time model, is to blast off on Wednesday to the International Space Station (ISS) with Russian cosmonaut Yury Malenchenko and American Peggy Whitson.

"I can't believe how close we are. To see the Malaysian flag and the Malaysian crest on there is amazing," said aerospace engineer Shankini Doraisingam, as the rocket began its journey guarded by armed police.

Muszaphar has attracted interest with a promise that he will, if possible, observe the fasting regime of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on the ISS.

Malaysian religious authorities have prepared guidelines on how to adapt the rules as the ISS circles the Earth 16 times each calendar day, which would technically mean having to pray 80 times every 24 hours, and cause havoc with the Ramadan rule on fasting between dawn and dusk.

Muszaphar will treat the crew to Malaysian food including traditional biscuits eaten when Ramadan ends with a public holiday in Malaysia on October 12, said Doraisingam.

Muszaphar was said by reserve astronaut Faiz Khaleed to be "a bit nervous," but mainly focussed on scientific experiments he will conduct.

These involve seeing how cancer cells respond to treatment in weightless conditions, where they will be able to grow in three dimensions and thus in a similar way to inside the human body, said project director Zulkeffeli Mat Jusoh.

Malaysia is paying for the voyage as part of a billion-dollar purchase of Russian fighter jets.

Russia built the Baikonur cosmodrome on the arid plains of Kazakhstan in Soviet times and has continued to use the site under a rental deal since the 1991 Soviet collapse.

Russia is marking 50 years of space exploration, having celebrated on October 4 the 50th anniversary of the launch of the first ever satellite, Sputnik.

Related Links
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Russian MP to become 'space tourist' in 2008: report
Moscow (AFP) Oct 5, 2007
A Russian member of parliament is to become the next space tourist in 2008, replacing a US computer game developer scheduled to fly at the same time, the Kommersant daily reported on Friday.

  • Jules Verne Dry Cargo Prepared In Turin
  • J-2X Powerpack Test Article Installed On Test Stand
  • Dawn Of A Long Voyage To The Beginning Of Sol And Beyond
  • Kennedy Prepares To Host Constellation Launch Vehicle

  • SSTL Satellites Sign-Up For 2008 Launch
  • Ariane 5 rocket puts US, Australian satellites into orbit
  • Arianespace Boosts Intelsat 11 And Optus D2 Into Orbit
  • Ariane 5 Cleared For Intelsat 11 And Optus D2 Mission

  • Discovery At The Pad For October 23 Launch
  • Strut repairs could delay shuttle launch: NASA
  • Technicians To Begin Discovery Strut Repairs
  • STS-120 To Deliver Harmony Node To ISS

  • Expedition 16 Crew To Launch From Baikonur
  • Successful Test Of Jules Verne ATV Software
  • Space station partners bicker over closure date
  • Space Station Expedition 16 Crew Approved

  • Malaysian astronaut's rocket rolled out to launchpad
  • 21st-century space flight salutes the father of sci-fi, Jules Verne
  • Russian MP to become 'space tourist' in 2008: report
  • Russia readies rocket for Malaysian's space launch

  • China Puts Second Oceanic Survey Satellite Into Operation With More To Come
  • China's Lunar Satellite Launch Open To Tourists
  • China To Build New Space Launch Center In Southernmost Province
  • China Launches Third Sino-Brazilian Earth Resources Satellite

  • Robots With Legs
  • Roving The Moon
  • Microsoft teams up in Japan to set robotics standards
  • Drive-By-Wire And Human Behavior Systems Key To Virginia Tech Urban Challenge Vehicle

  • Spirit Arrives At Stratigraphic Wonderland In Columbia Hills On Mars
  • Duck Bay, Victoria Crater, Planet Mars
  • Are manned missions needed to explore Mars and beyond
  • Spirit Makes Progress Across Home Plate

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement