So the search for Malaysia's first astrononaut has come to an end. On October 10 2007, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, 35 will blast off aboard a Russian-built Soyuz space craft en route to the International Space Station along with Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and U.S. astronaut Peggy Whitson for 10 days, conducting life science experiments and other research. Meanwhile, Faiz bin Khaleed, 27 will be the reserve candidate.
I was fortunate to have met Dr Muszaphar during Ning Baizura's 2007 birthday party. He was kind and gracious for having me take a picture with him. 'Star' qualities for a man destined to make the nation and his people proud. Dr Muszaphar, i salute you and wish you the best of luck and a safe return!