Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BANTING, Oct 12 (Bernama) -- The Malaysia Astronaut Foundation, which was launched Monday, will start its operations and programmes next year, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.

The setting up of the foundation was approved by the Cabinet on Aug 12 to ensure that the educational and public awareness programmes on science, technology and space science could be carried out more effectively and extensively nationwide.

Currently, the ministry (MOSTI) was in the process of appointing a number of personnel for the foundation including for the post of chief executive officer, Ongkili said after launching the foundation in conjunction with the second anniversary of the National Astronaut Programme at the National Space Centre quarters in Kg Sungai Lang, here, Monday.

He said the government had allocated an initial capital of RM5 million for three years for the foundation and would continue to provide funding on a dollar-for-dollar basis on the money collected by the foundation.

"It is hoped that the establishment of the foundation will facilitate the collection of funds from the general public and the private sector as the ministry's other agencies are bound by the government regulation that does not allow them to collect donations."

The nation's two astronauts, Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor and Major Dr Faiz Khaleed, and candidates for the National Astronaut Programme would contribute to educating and creating public awareness, especially among school students, on the programme, he said.

"It is also hoped that the foundation's establishment will end allegations that the astronauts collect payments for giving talks as the foundation will pay them with the funds obtained."

On the Second National Astronaut Programme, Ongkili said Dr Faiz would be doing a Master's degree programme in Russia on a National Science Scholarship, and continue training for the second space mission involving Malaysia.

When met at the foundation's launching, Dr Faiz said he expected to begin his further studies at the Biomedical Research Institute in Russia early next year. The institute is involved in research in medicine, biology and space science.

Meanwhile, when asked about the proposal to set up a Malaysian astronauts association which was rejected by the Registrar of Societies (ROS), Ongkili said it was possibly due to its name as at present the country had only two astronauts, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar and Dr Faiz.

"To set up an association, according to the regulations, it will need at least 12 members, but we only have two astronauts."

The press recently reported on the failure of 57 candidates for the National Astronaut Programme to set up an association called the Malaysian Astronauts Association after almost nine months of trying.

Their spokesman Capt Mohammed Faiz Kamaludin was quoted as saying that the failure was due to the association's name which was rejected by the ROS.

At the same function, Ongkili also launched a coffeetable book on the National Astronaut Programme published by Utusan Publication Sdn Bhd, and the National Space Science quarters for officers handling the nation's satellite operations round the clock seven days a week.

He said the Razaksat satellite, launched recently, was now in the process of camera calibration and hoped it would be completed next month.

Malaysia Astronaut Foundation To Begin Operations Next Year

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Angkasawan Malaysia Jadi Juri Pertandingan Antarabangsa Airbus

Angkasawan pertama Malaysia Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha dipilih menganggotai panel 10 pakar antarabangsa bagi menghakimi pertandingan akhir Airbus "Fly Your Ideas", yang disertai pelajar dari seluruh dunia.

Panel juri bebas ini dianggotai lima wakil Airbus dan lima pakar industri.

"Angkasawan ini telah memberi ilham kepada banyak anak muda dari rantau ini dan tempat lain untuk meminati bidang aeronautik.

"Oleh itu, kami amat gembira dan berbesar hati dengan penyertaan Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar sebagai hakim dalam pertandingan kami ini, lebih-lebih lagi memandangkan sambutan hebat yang kami terima dari seluruh rantau ini " kata pengarah komunikasi Airbus rantau Asia Sean Lee dalam kenyataan di sini Rabu.

Pertandingan itu dilancarkan tahun lepas oleh Airbus -- antara syarikat pengeluar kapal terbang terkemuka dunia -- bagi mencabar kemampuan pelajar dari seluruh dunia yang menuntut di peringkat ijazah, sarjana atau PhD supaya mengemukakan idea inovatif dan mesra ekologi bagi mencorakkan bentuk industri penerbangan pada masa akan datang.

Lebih 2,350 pelajar dari 130 negara mendaftarkan diri untuk menyertai pertandingan itu dan daripada 225 pasukan yang dicadangkan penyertaannya pada peringkat awal, 86 dipilih bagi mengemukakan idea dalam pusingan kedua.

"Sambutan yang diterima dari Asia cukup hebat dan sebanyak 38 pasukan telah dipilih memasuki Pusingan Kedua, termasuk lima pasukan dari Universiti Teknologi Malaysia," katanya.

Dengan tinggal beberapa minggu saja lagi sebelum berakhirnya Pusingan Kedua, pakar Airbus daripada pelbagai bidang kini sibuk membuat penilaian terhadap cadangan yang telah dikemukakan, sebelum memilih lima pasukan untuk bertanding secara langsung pada pusingan akhir 19 Jun di Pertunjukan Udara Le Bourget di Paris.

Monday, January 14, 2008


The Solar System is the Sun and all the objects in orbit around it. The objects orbiting the Sun are the 8 planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, three dwarf planets (Pluto, Ceres and Eris), the planets’ 170 moons, and billions of smaller bodies, including asteroids, Kuiper belt objects, comets, meteoroids, and interplanetary dust.

The four planets closest to the sun—Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars—are called the terrestrial planets because they have solid rocky surfaces. The four large planets beyond the orbit of Mars—Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune—are called gas giants.

From the time of its discovery in 1930 until 2006, Pluto was considered the Solar System's ninth planet. But in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, many objects similar to Pluto were discovered in the outer Solar System, most notably Eris (formerly 2003 UB313), which is slightly larger than Pluto. On August 24, 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) formally downgraded Pluto from an official planet to a dwarf planet. According to the new rules a planet meets three criteria: it must orbit the Sun, it must be big enough for gravity to squash it into a round ball, and it must have cleared other things out of the way in its orbital neighborhood. Apart from Pluto, Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt; and Eris, which lies in the scattered disc were named in the new category of dwarf planet.

99.86% of the Solar System total mass belongs to the Sun. Of the 0.14% total mass left, more than 90% belong to the two largest planets, Jupiter and Saturn.

National spacemen Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha and Major Dr Faiz Khaleed were today commissioned as cosmonauts by the Russian government.

The commissioning was done by Anatoly Perminov, the chairman of Roskosmos (Russian National Space Agency), at Star City, Russia at 4pm Russian time (8pm in Malaysia).

Science, Technology and Innovations Ministry secretary-general Datuk Abdul Hanan Alang Endut and National Space Programme director Colonel Dr Zulkeffeli Mat Jusoh were present at the ceremony.

Dr Zulkeffeli, when contacted by Bernama tonight, said that the United States' National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) through its representative at the commissioning ceremony, also recognised the duo as astronauts.

On Oct 10, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar together Russian flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko and commander Peggy Wilson from the United States took off in a Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). The Malaysian astronaut returned to Earth on Oct 21.

Source: Bernama

Saturday, November 17, 2007

nasa space shuttleNASA is now accepting applications for its 2009 astronaut class. The agency is looking for a few men and women who want to fulfill their dreams and be a part of the next generation of explorers.

"We look forward to gathering applications and then being able to select from the largest pool possible," said Ellen Ochoa, NASA's chief of Flight Crew Operations at the Johnson Space Center. "Continuing our impressive record in successfully carrying out challenging human spaceflight missions depends on maintaining a talented and diverse astronaut corps."

To be considered, a bachelor's degree in engineering, science or math and three years of relevant professional experience are required. Typically, successful applicants have significant qualifications in engineering or science, or extensive experience flying high-performance jet aircraft.

Teaching experience, including work at the kindergarten through 12th grade level, is considered qualifying. Educators with the appropriate educational background are encouraged to apply.

After a six-month period of evaluation and interviews, NASA will announce final selections in early 2009. Astronaut candidates will report to Johnson in the summer of 2009 to begin the basic training program to prepare them for future spaceflight assignments.

The open positions are for astronaut candidates to train for tours of duty on the International Space Station, the largest human spacecraft ever built. It is also the site for research that will prepare NASA for future long-duration human missions to the moon and other destinations. The Constellation Program is responsible for building and operating the next-generation vehicles that will carry astronauts to the space station and the moon.

Applicants must meet physical standards and educational requirements, which include a bachelor’s degree in engineering, math or science and at least three years of experience in one of these fields. Teaching experience, including experience at the K-12 level, is considered to be qualifying experience; therefore, educators are encouraged to apply.

The open positions require extensive travel on Earth and in space. Possible destinations may include, but are not limited to, Texas, Florida, California, Russia, Kazakhstan, the International Space Station and the moon.

Unfortunately, the application was only opened to U.S. citizens, both civilian and military, who are qualified and super-motivated can apply for these positions. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. The deadline is July 1, 2008.


To Apply: visit