Sunday, October 14, 2007

International Space Station

With our Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor reached ISS, it seems that our Angkasawan mission has finally come true. Seeing the photo of our National Science Agency's Director, Prof. Dr. Mazlan Othman's tears of joy, I can definitely see that we have come so far.

Going to space is definitely a fantastic experience. It is something that none of us would forget and I am sure many of us would love to be there, although the challenge is going to be very high. it is not easy to go through all those G-Force. I can't even take the simulator at Epcot Park at Disney World, Florida. So, I really don't think I could take this swing. The physical endurance of our cosmonaut is definitely very high.

October 10 2007 would be always a historical day for Malaysia.

For myself, I do have a few encounters with space before. Back in my high school days, there was this Sumurwang Aerospace Exhibition. I can't remember when it was. Should be in the 90s, but it was a great experience. I knew literally nothing about space, but that did give me and many Malaysian youth a close-up view of those spaceship (I'm not sure what was exhibited, as my knowledge is definitely limited). Now, that place is what Selangor MSC area - I-City.

Looking back 4 years ago, to be specific on 4th September 2003, I got a rare chance to pose a question to Ed Lu '84 NASA Astronaut on board International Space Station. Then, it was the 7th Expedition member. Our astronaut went with the 16th expedition. So, things have move on quite a bit.

I still remembered in late August, when Cornell tried to make a connection to space, and they need to have a few volunteers to speak to those astronauts. I jumped at the chance. Ed Lu was a Cornell alum. One of the coverages is here . I was the guy holding the microphone waiting for signal to pose a question to Ed Lu in ISS.

Then, on 11th June 2004, Ed Lu came back to Cornell, to give a talk on his experience in space at Bartels Hall. That was a fantastic experience. You can read it here . It was a fantastic experience for me to meet the guy in space that I spoke to earlier. It was a dream come true. I managed to get a postcard signed by Ed Lu from ISS. It is certainly a fantastic momento from space. Managed to take a photo with him too.

Just realize from wikipedia that Ed Lu has left NASA to join Google. The news article is here

Tonight, our Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would make this connection with our astronaut, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, who is at ISS. It would be a historical moment for Malaysia.

Hopefully, this venture to space would encourage many Malaysians to learn more about space, to really appreciate science and technology and hopefully, this would help us to propel further in the realm of space.

1 comment:

Bitbot said...

There's been a lot of criticism going around among the public on spending so much government money just to send one Malaysian into space to "visit" the ISS. Although that may be true, but its something needed to spark interest in the Space technology industry. Imagine if we didn't send a Malaysian into space, surely there wouldn't be so much knowledge brought to the public about Space.