Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor is set to become the first Malaysian to travel into space. He will blast off aboard a Russian Soyuz space craft on October 10 to the International Space Station along with a Russian cosmonaut and a US astronaut.
I have mix feeling about this… it’s a good thing that Malaysia is sending someone into space, but I’m not really proud on how it’s being done. I mean, what have Malaysians contributed towards the space project besides funding it? And what’s the benefit besides having a colourful page in our record book?
In fact I have problems calling Muszaphar an astronaut; for me he is merely a government sponsored space traveller. Regardless, he is going to make history. I don’t have any problem with this man in person… the government offered an opportunity, he went for it and got it. Kudos for that.
I just hope that years after this event, the Angkasawan project could meet its objective of spurring the interest of younger generations in Malaysia into science and technology development, and prove that it is not a money wasting idea.