Saturday, October 25, 2008

Soyuz membawa Richard Garriott selamat mendarat

Kapsul Soyuz mendarat di Arkalyk

Soyuz yang membawa angkasawan Richard Garriot dan Sergei Volkov selamat mendarat di Arkalyk, Kazakhstan pada 24hb October 2008. Misi yang bersejarah ini buat pertama kali membawa pulang generasi kedua angkaswan kerana kedua-dua Richard Garriot dan Sergei Volkov merupakan anak-anak kepada angkaswan.

Pegawai-pegawai membantu Richard Garriott

Kosmonot Oleg Kononenko yang tidak kelihatan merupakan ahli krew yang ketiga di dalam misi ini. Pendaratan Soyuz kali ini tepat pada sasaran selepas dua pendaratan sebelum ini yang membawa angkasawan negara Datuk Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor dan angkasawan Korea mendarat secara balistik. Di dalam sejarah pendaratan Soyuz hanya sejumlah 3 pendaratan yang tersasar membuat ramai pihak menyoal kebolehan kapsul Soyuz kebelakangan ini.

Kosmonot Sergei Volkov
Isu kewangan mungkin menjadi penghalang utama bagi Rusia untuk menghantar misi Soyuz di masa hadapan.

Russians, plus American tourist, return from Space

Russian Soyuz space capsule lands near Arkalyk

MOSCOW (AP) — Soon after he touched down Friday, American space tourist Richard Garriott got a pat on the head and an admiring question from his astronaut father. "How come you look so fresh and ready to go?" 77-year-old Owen Garriott asked his son, who was sitting in an armchair on the steppes of Kazakhstan after being pulled from the gumdrop-shaped Soyuz capsule.

"Because I'm fresh and ready to go — again," Richard declared. "What a great ride that was."

Richard Garriott, a 47-year-old computer games designer who created the Ultima game series, paid US$30 million for trip to the International Space Station. When he lifted off Oct. 12, he became the first American to follow his father into space.

Friday's landing went perfectly — a relief to space officials. In the last two Soyuz landings, the craft went into "ballistic descent" — free fall — subjecting the occupants to high G-forces and sending one of the capsules far off target.

The smooth re-entry may ease concerns about plans to discontinue the U.S. space shuttle program in 2010. That will leave Russian Soyuz craft as the only way to ferry people to and from the station, which is scheduled to host crews of six instead of three starting next spring.

"I'm looking forward to some fresh food and to calling my loved ones," Garriott said in televised comments. "I've got my father here, but I've got other family back home I want to get ahold of."

Garriott, who lives in Austin, Texas, was seen off by his girlfriend and his older brother, among others, when he lifted off for the station in another Soyuz craft. He was accompanied on the return flight by Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Sergei Volkov, who spent six months on the space station.

Ground crew members helps U.S. space tourist Richard Garriott shortly after the landing

Volkov, helped to a chair next to Garriott and also wrapped in a blanket, looked a little wearier than the American, after 199 days in space. The son of a decorated cosmonaut who was in orbit when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Volkov beat out Garriott as the first human being to follow a parent into space.

Kononenko was the last out of the capsule and could not be seen in the TV footage.

The head of the Russian space agency Roskosmos, Anatoly Perminov, said on state-run Vesti-24 television that Kononenko had a tougher time than his crewmates during the descent but "feels good now." The longer one stays in space, the harder it is to adjust to gravity.

Garriott conducted experiments while he was on the station — including some whose sponsors helped pay for a trip Garriott said cost him a large chunk of his wealth. He also took pictures of the Earth's surface to measure environmental changes since his father snapped photos from the U.S. station Skylab 35 years ago.

"This is obviously a pinnacle experience," Garriott said.

And he praised the Russian equipment. "This Soyuz TMA-12 operated wonderfully." he said.

The craft's crew module separated without a hitch before it entered the atmosphere, and a series of parachutes gradually slowed its speed from 230 meters (755 feet) per second to about 1.5 meters (5 feet) per second, according to an announcer on NASA TV.

Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov rests shortly after the landing

On a Soyuz returning in May, the malfunction of an explosive bolt delayed the separation of the re-entry capsule from the rest of the ship. It forced the crew — including a U.S. astronaut and South Korea's first space traveler — to endure a rough ride as the gyrating capsule descended facing the wrong way.

It took nearly half an hour for search helicopters to locate the capsule, which landed 20 minutes late and 260 miles (420 kilometers) off target.

Last October, a computer glitch sent Malaysia's first astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts on a steeper-than-normal path during their return to Earth.

Russian space officials said changes had been made to equipment and computer programming to prevent another ballistic descent.

"I can't recall a more ideal landing," Perminov said.

U.S. astronaut Michael Fincke and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov, who traveled to the station with Garriott and joined U.S. astronaut Gregory Chamitoff, are scheduled to stay six months and work on renovations to expand its capacity. The shuttle Endeavor is due to bring equipment needed for the project in a few weeks.

There are also worries the global financial crisis could disrupt plans for the station in the coming years.

The head of Russia's state-controlled RKK Energiya company, which builds the Soyuz, said Friday that construction of ships for the next few missions was on schedule, but further plans could be jeopardized by the credit crunch. Vitaly Lopota said the banks had been slow to provide loans to the company, and he urged the government to quickly earmark funds.

Perminov downplayed the issue, saying the government would make sure a lack of money does not derail planned missions.

"We will solve the problem," he said.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

1st Anniversary National Angkasawan Programme

Association members at the Exhibition Hall

(From Left: Haizam, Faiz, Patihe, Bostami, Fadzli, Hozay, Norhisham & Harridon)

10th October 2008, Planetarium Negara- A year ago we embarked on our historic journey to space. To commemorate the event, ANGKASA launched an awareness campaign to run from the 10th to 21st October 2008, the exact duration we were in space last year.

Exhibition Hall is now open!

Dr. Mustafa & Mej Dr. Faiz Khaleed

Due to the heavy evening downpour in Kuala Lumpur, the ceremony which was supposed to be located outdoors underneath the stars and galaxy was moved to the Planetarium's Dome Theatre. At 8pm Dr. Mustafa Din Subari, Director General of ANGKASA gave a welcoming speech to the invited guests and explained a brief outline of our progress and upcoming projects. The upcoming projects were mostly geared towards creating public awarenes. Among the interesting projects is a documentary series to be aired in December.

An interesting visual display of water droplets

Datuk Dr. Maximus Ongkili then officiated the event followed by a short video presentation of the Angkasawan Programme. We then took a short tour of the Angkasawan Exhibition held in the Planetarium's Exhibition Hall. The exhibits on display were very comprehensive from a mock-up Soyuz capsule to space memorabilias brought back by our first Angkasawan.

The Soyuz Mock-up Cockpit

Information on the space experiments and selection process were also on display. The names of successful candidates were also listed to the delight of our association members that were present. It's a great exhbition and I urge everyone to make their way down to the Planetarium to view it.

Harridon explaining about the Viking rocket system on ArianeIV

After a short interval, we witnessed a mock-up launch of the Soyuz TMA-11 rocket with fireworks to mark the anniversary of the Angkasawan Programme. ANGKASA had put on a great show and I truly enjoyed myself.

3,2,1...Blast Off!!!

A public talk series will also be held at the Planetarium. Details are as follows:

8pm 11th Oct Prof A. Rahman on Microgravity Space Research

3pm 13th Oct Datuk Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar on his Experience in Space

10am 14th Oct Prof A. Rahman on Microgravity Space Research

10am 16th Oct Mej Dr. Faiz Khaleed on Man Spaceflight Missions

8pm 18th Oct Dr. T.J. O'Brien on Exploring the Invisible Universe

10am 21st Oct Prof Dr. M Zambri on Space Exploration

So kindly make your way down to the Planetarium to celebrate our anniversary into space...

Mohammed Faiz bin Kamaludin

Having fun at the Anti-Gravity room

Trying out the Space Ball