Monday, October 29, 2007

The First Astronaut, I Salute You!!

This month, Malaysia made history by sending the first astronaut to the space. On October 10, our honoured Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, an orthopedic surgeon was launched into the International Space Station (ISS) boarding on the Soyuz TMA-11.

He certainly had did Malaysia proud. He is not only have make Malaysia's indepence and 50th year of nationhood look awesome and wonderful, this space exploration mission also marks 50 years in human space exploration. After all, the term "Angkasawan" has been frequently mentioned, even appear on CNN itself, where the word which is literally translated from the English's astronaut. Who don't want to become one?

50 years ago, human's tiny effort to venture into the space began with the first artificial satellite that was launched and orbited the earth in October 1957. Sputnik-1 has eventually shocked the world, especially the United States of America in the ultimate space race, making people beginning to realize of their own potential for developing space voyage and space technology. As it orbited the earth, it transmitted signals, picked up by various stations around the world. Indeed, someone in Malaysia did managed to pick up the signal back then!

Well, history sometimes are bored, so I have to cut it short!!

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor was selected among tens of thousands candidates and bringing the hope of 26 millions of the people into one of the most important history. The journey will not only focused on various experiments, looking for the effects of microgravity to human biology, but also a beginning for a joint international venture, a remarkable start in space technology from an already well-prepared developing nation.

Nevertheless, controversial do arise. If not because it is a part of agreement made and done between the government of Malaysia and Russia in 2003 to purchase Russian fighter jets and part of the deal of economical exchange, realizing the dream to send the first astronaut is totally impossible - at least for the near future. The cost of sending an astronaut itself is amounted to about RM200million at least. Where can we get that money? Russia has agree to provide a seat for the second astronaut, but the cost has to be bear by the government.

So, when sending another astronaut or nauts into the space, think about the money my dad and your dad have to pay every year. Or just think about the tax you have to pay next time. Fair!! Probably not since my money will be dumped into the space and I don't get benefits from it.

There were also a period when the members of the parliament (MP) at the Dewan Rakyat were discussing about what will Dr Sheikh bring to the ISS or what he will do up there. Play gasing or congkak? Run an experiment to see if my apatite for Malaysian food become more prominent when in the space? Or can my back-ache resolve if I go to the space? Err...hard to say.

Some documentation enlisted Dr Sheikh only as a spaceflight participant, not astronaut, because he is flying as a guest of Russian government. Therefore, he is not a fully-qualified astronaut, and make no difference than space traveller coming from the tycoon around the world. However, many credited Dr Sheikh as a fully fledged astronaut and many are certain that he is qualified astronaut, no doubt. What ever they want to call him, but still, he is our first astronaut. But on the other side, think about this; he is not an astronauts anywhere. Yeah, he is not!! Then what is he in the eyes of the world. If he is not an astronauts, he is not an eligible one in US.

Even though troubles has landed to him when he lost his brother after coma for a week after had an accident, we hope that he will stay strong and move forward, using his experience and expertise to help Malaysia to go further. I'm sorry for the loss but we are all behind you!! We hope to hear from you soon!!

Congrats, you are the first Malaysian astronaut!!

And also the one that burnt the tax money.
I don't know probably not that grand anywhere.
But still, congrats!!

1 comment:

sweetie020888 said...

hmmmzz... so much praise 4 da astronout? then i bet u shud know him
well.... tell me, is he gay? is he a part time model?

oh yeahh..did u go c him during 4KL at titiwangsa... coz i got a cute close-up pic of him dude... =P

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