5, 4, 3, 2, 1, BLAST OFF!

11 10 2007

Dr. Sheikh Muzaphar in the rocket, preparing himself.

Yesterday, I watched the rocket blast off into space. I think the rocket model is a Soyuz TMA-11. It blasted from Kazakhstan, Russia. The blasted off precisely at 9:21 pm, Malaysian time. He went with Yuri Malenchenko, a Russian engineer and Peggy Whitson, an American mission commander, who is also the pilot.


Papa said that the pilot had been in training for this particular event since 1997. It will take them, about 2 days to reach the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS is orbiting the Earth at a height of 360km from the surface of the ocean.

That is very, very high up to be spending Hari Raya Aidil Fitri!

I think, that the reason he went to space is to do some experiments. His and also some other people’s. One of the experiments he’ll be doing is my uncle’s. My mother’s brother is genetics professor in UiTM and Dr. Sheikh is expected to do some experiments for my uncle.

Papa said, he is a 35-year-old orthopedic surgeon and was his school-mate in MRSM. He also has the Malaysian flag on his left sleeve of his spacesuit. There was also a Jalur Gemilang painted outside the Soyuz spacecraft. We are very lucky to have him go into outer space just for some experiments for Malaysian scientists.

Papa also told me Dato’ Marina Mahathir wrote about her father watching the historical event for Malaysia from the hospital where he is admitted.

Papa said Dr. Sheikh also blogged about his preparation for this journey. I hope to meet him someday, as a fellow blogger. He will be inspiring to people like me. I hope I am will also be given an opportunity to go space one day and do experiments for science. We pray that he will have a safe trip to and back from space.