Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Astrophysicist to be named UN’s alien ambassador

Astrophysicist to be named UN’s alien ambassador

Pretty soon the answer will be a Malaysian astrophysicist named Mazlan Othman, who's expected to be appointed as the United Nation’s space ambassador for extraterrestrial contact affairs. That gives her the right to make the first official response to any travelling aliens.

Othman was Malaysia’s first astrophysicist, became the head of the country’s national planetarium (Negara) and launched the first Malaysian astronaut, Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, to the International Space Station in October 2007.

Now, Othman is the director of the UN’s Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA); a branch of the General Assembly, established in 1962. The office is responsible for promoting international co-operation and peace in dealing with outer space, and includes topics such as satellite navigation and space debris.

If approved, her latest role would place her as the go-to contact in the event of aliens making contact with earth. She’s got to pitch her new job title at a scientific conference at the Royal Society’s Kavli conference centre in Buckinghamshire next week, then if the idea is backed by the UN scientific advisory committees, it’ll be passed to General Assembly.

Othman recently gave a talk to fellow scientists, where she said that the continued search sustains the hope that “some day humankind will receive signals from extraterrestrials. When we do, we should have in place a coordinated response that takes into account all the sensitivities related to the subject”.

Stephen Hawking suggested earlier this year that aliens almost certainly exist, but cautioned humanity against making contact. He warned that extraterrestrial nomads could be “looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”

By Mark Brown |27 September 2010

Taken from: http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2010-09/27/alien-ambassador

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Aerospace Club members take turns at the controls

NOAH Aiman Mohd Faiz, 10, and Jonathan Ang Kwang Siong, 10, were captaining a Boeing 737-400 confidently, sending the aircraft soaring into the sky.

Suddenly, the clear, blue sky turned into complete darkness. Before they could react, soft lights illuminated the horizon and dawn had arrived.

The kids did not panic. They kept their hands on the yoke while the aircraft flew steadily onward.

Smooth landing: Capt Mohd Radzi giving some advice to the children when they were on the simulator.

Behind them, Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight operations manager Captain Mohd Radzi Mohamad Alias was choosing the scenes from a touch screen.

There were also buttons to customise the weather conditions. When the turbulence setting was activated, everyone in the cockpit felt the instability.

Noah and Jonathan were in a flight simulator with equipment identical to that of the original aircraft at MAS Flight Crew Training Centre in Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang.

Organised by Astronautical Association of Malaysia and Aerospace Education Services, the visit gave about 10 kids and teenagers a unique flying experience right in the centre that produces pilots for the national carrier.

They were given a briefing before they toured the building to visit the computer-based training centre and a number of other simulators.

Hands-on: Mohammed Faiz (right) helping Suhaimi Abdul Rahman to put on an oxygen mask.

When Mohd Radzi put on his epaulettes, jacket and hat, the kids looked at him with great admiration.

The three-hour experience fuelled Fariz Izlan Feizal‘s dream of becoming a pilot one day.

“I have wanted to be a pilot since I was six,” the 15-year-old said.

Ahmad Helmi Abu Kassim, 23, a student from Universiti Kuala Lumpur’s Malaysian Institute of Aviation Technology (MIAT), saluted MAS Captain Mohammed Faiz Kamaludin animatedly after his attempt in the simulator.

“It is difficult for us on the aircraft engineering side, and today, I realised that it is just as hard for the pilots to steer an aircraft, especially to perform a landing,” he said.

Mohammed Faiz, who was one of the final four candidates to be Malaysia’s astronaut in 2006, said the Astronautical Association of Malaysia was founded last year, comprising of the former top 59 astronaut candidates.

It involves in talks and programmes to promote aerospace and science to the younger generation.

“Aerospace Education, on the other hand, organises space camps, astronomy nights, classes on aerospace and so on.

“The kids who are here today are its Aerospace Club members,” he said.

From the Star Online by Tho Xin Yi

Monday, September 6, 2010

Malaysia Airlines Flight Simulator Centre Visit

Today, the association together with 10 schoolchildren and a few engineering students made a visit to the Malaysia Airlines Flight Simulator Centre in Subang. After an informative briefing by Capt. Mohd Radzi, we were given the chance to fly a full-motion Boeing 737-400 simulator. The aspiring pilots took turns at the flight controls and found out that it wasn't really easy to land a jet aircraft..hehe! Nonetheless everyone had fun and we truly enjoyed ourselves. We were also given a tour of the state of the art CBT (computer based training) centre and other simulators within the complex such as the F50, A330, B777, B747 and the latest Airbus 380. In the end, we had a great day and would like to thank Malaysia Airlines for letting us visit their Flight Simulator Centre.

Capt. Mohd Radzi giving us a briefing

Can't wait for our turn to fly...

Ok ..what do I do now???

Thank you MAS!!!!