Monday, January 14, 2008

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


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