On 10th October 2007 at 9.22pm (Malaysian time) Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor created history in Malaysia by becoming the first Malaysian in space. It was a proud moment for the Malaysian people as the nation is also celebrating its 50th Merdeka (Independence) this year.
The Soyuz-FG rocket launcher blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at exactly 9.22pm (Malaysian time) carrying the Soyuz TMA-II spacecraft with Malaysian cosmonaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, NASA's commander Peggy Whitson and Russian Yuri Malechenko to the International Space Station (ISS).
Soyuz took about nine minutes to enter zero gravity and orbit the Earth for 2 days before docking with the International Space Station (ISS) on 12th October 2007.
Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor will spend 8 days on the International Space Station (ISS) collaborating with other scientists on various space medicine experiments considered beneficial to the Malaysian population specifically and to the world in general.