MALAYSIA CELEBRATES SPACE MAN

Malaysia is celebrating the return of its first ever astronaut from space. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, a 35-year-old orthopaedic surgeon and university lecturer, returned to Earth on October 21 after 11 days in space. He and two Russian cosmonauts touched down safely at 1043 GMT in Kazakhstan.

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Malaysia is celebrating the return of its first ever astronaut from space. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, a 35-year-old orthopaedic surgeon and university lecturer, returned to Earth on October 21 after 11 days in space. He and two Russian cosmonauts touched down safely at 1043 GMT in Kazakhstan. Muszaphar’s parents were among the cheering Malaysian contingent at mission control. When the craft landed, applause broke out in the viewing balcony. His mother, Datin Zuraida Sheikh Ahmad, was crying with relief as she sat next to her husband, Datuk Sheikh Mustapha Sheikh Abdul Shukor. Muszaphar was trained for over a year at Moscow’s Star City before he left for the mission on October 10 with American Peggy Whitson, the new commander on the ISS, and a Russian Yuri Malenchenko. The practising Muslim celebrated the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadhan at the space station and carried out experiments for Malaysia’s Genome Institute. Malaysia that has already started Southeast Asia’s first space centre is planning to send its first astronaut to the Moon by 2020.