Thursday, December 1, 2011

Simulator Centre Visit

18 students ranging from graduates to undergraduates, schoolchildren and special kids were given the opportunity to try their hands on the controls of the latest Boeing 737-800 full motion flight simulator at the MAS and CAE Flight and Simulator Centre in Glenmarie, Shah Alam. The main objective of the event was to let the kids experience what it feels like to pilot a jet aeroplane and hopefully inspire them to choose a career in the aerospace industry. The 2 hour session started off with a brief presentation by En. Shazmi Ali from CAE followed by a short tour of the facilities and the all important flight simulator session. The crew of NTV7 kids@fgw hosted by the ever bubbly Johan were also on site to report on the event. Certificates were given to all the lucky participants at the end of the day. All and all it was a great event and most importantly all the kids had fun and so did we. Until next time, happy holidays to all....

Briefing session

In the simulator

NTV7 host Johan

Certificates presentation

Group photo

Thank you CAE and MAS!!!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Dr Mazlan, The Woman Guiding UN's Outer Space Affairs

NEW YORK, Nov 9 (Bernama) -- Meet Datuk Dr Mazlan Othman, the former director-general of the Malaysian National Space Agency (Angkasa), now based in Vienna, Austria, where she heads the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA).

As the director of UNOOSA she has been guiding the world body's outer-space programme and seems to have made a mark with her extensive knowledge of astrophysics.

Mazlan who frequently visits the United Nations' headquarters in New York for official work, holds a position that brings her in contact with the world's leading astrophysicists.

"Yes, there is a high level of responsibility involved in the kind of work I do. But it is also an exciting field which is challenging as well as replete with opportunities," she tells Bernama.

Some Westerners may find it uncommon to see an Asian woman head an outer-space body that is essentially perceived as a male domain. However, a glance at the petite incumbent's impressive credentials can easily convince even the hardened sceptic that this is a woman who commands respect in her field.


Mazlan who was first appointed to UNOOSA in 1999, returned to Malaysia in 2002 to helm Angkasa where she was intrumental in launching the first Malaysian astronout into space Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor in 2007.

She returned to her post as the director of the UNOOSA at the end of 2007 and ever since she has been dealing with issues like international cooperation in space, use of space-based remote sensing platforms for sustainable development, coordination of space law between nations and mitigating risks posed by near-earth asteroids.

Mazlan, a soft-spoken woman though, infuses the necessary leadership qualities in whatever she does, according to people who have had the opportunity to observe her at close range.


How does she find working for the UN with its challenges and demands that are incumbent on anyone holding a position of high visibility?

"The challenge of the UN is that it is a multilateral forum, addressing global issues. Consensus, therefore, needs to be built amongst many stakeholders with multifaceted backgrounds and expectations. There needs to be a balance between many parameters such as geography, developing and developed, and gender," she muses.

Prodded to explain her perception of life - not just vegetation but also living beings such as aliens - in outer space, Mazlan cautiously responds:

"Scientifically, we know that there are billions of galaxies containing trillions of stars, many of which will have planets.

"Hence, even if the probability of life is extremely small, given the larger number of stars, the probability is definitely non-zero. What we need to acknowledge is that 'life' can come in many forms and not just the form that we see here on earth."

Asked whether she was ever approached by scientists and other experts who seriously wanted to discuss with her life in outer space, she replies: "Yes, of course. There are experts who study astrobiology... in other words, life in outer space, and there are also experts who study planets, outside the solar system. All of the work has bearing on the issue."


Speaking on specific challenges and opportunities of her present job, she reveals that space is still not taken into account in many aspects of the diplomatic negotiations and debates.

"My job is to bring the attention of the UN member states as well as the UN entities on the important role space can play in bringing benefits and the due consequences that may arise, if we do not pay attention to space issues," she says.

However, there are also opportunities. Because space is part of the discussions already taking place at the United Nations, the attention given to it can be further enhanced by expounding the idea that space is the common province of all mankind.

"And that space exploration is an important agenda of the United Nations and, therefore, international cooperation is vital," she says.

Mazlan has two grown-up children - her son, an aerospace engineer, is pursuing an MBA course in the United States while her 16 year-old daughter lives with her in Vienna.

By Manik Mehta

Taken from Bernama:

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dr. Harridon receives award during SUPAN-4

During the SUPAN-4 (Sambutan Ulangtahun Program Angkasawan Negara) held at the National Planetarium on the 15th of October 2011, Dr. Harridon our Head of Rocketry Division received an award for UniKL's parabolic flight science experiment in collaboration with JAXA. It was indeed a momentous occasion and we are proud of his achievements. During the gala dinner, ANGKASA honoured several other individuals for excellence demonstrated in the field of aerospace through research papers published by them. Kudos to them all, and especially to our very own Dr. Harridon. We at AAM share your success and wish you the very best in all your future endeavours...

Some of our members at the dinner giving support

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

ISS Contact: National Space Challenge 2011

As part of the annual National Space Challenge organised by the National Space Agency, radio contact with the International Space Station (ISS) was made tonight at 10:46pm. 19 students managed to interact with Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa using ham radio with the assistance of Mr. Sangat Singh and Mr. Sion who were handling the radio equipment located at the National Planetarium, Kuala Lumpur. The students asked about microgravity conditions and life in space which was answered in detail by Furukawa during the short 10-minute window. After the event, I managed to address the students using a megaphone and got to find out how they were enjoying the programme and their keen interest in science and aerospace. All of the 26 participants of the space challenge were excited about their experience tonight. All and all it was a great event and kudos to the staff of the planetarium for running such an excellent session. More info on the National Space Challenge. Thank you...

Mr. Sion with the ham radio equipment at the satcom station

JAXA astronaut Satoshi Furukawa

With our mentor Mr. Sangat Singh

Sunday, September 18, 2011

University applauds top graduates

Advisor to the Malaysian National Security Council and local graduate, Dato’ Ir Dr Abu Bakar Bin Jaafar, has been awarded the University of Newcastle Alumni Convocation Medal for professional excellence. The award was one of eight Alumni Awards presented to graduates from across the world recognising their outstanding achievements.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nick Saunders, said the annual Alumni Awards were an opportunity for the whole city to celebrate the success of its graduates. “The 2011 awards demonstrate once again that Newcastle graduates are leading in their fields globally.  It is always an honour to pay tribute to their achievements.”

University of Newcastle 2011 Alumni Award winners include:

• International Leadership – Peter Tay, President Singapore Food Industries Limited and Dr Andrew Mears, Principle Consultant, Majority World Technology Ltd
• National leadership – Denise Goldsworthy, Managing Director Rio Tinto and 2010 Telstra Business Woman of the Year
• Regional Leadership – Dr Anne Wakatama, General Manager Health Services the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Mohammed Faiz Kamaludin, Malaysian Airlines Captain and part of Malaysia’s Astronaut Program

Mohammed Faiz Kamaludin

• Newton John Award – Julie Squires, internationally recognised sculptor
• Exceptional Community Service – Associate Professor Pauline Chiarelli, Australia’s first Physiotherapist Continence Advisor
• Indigenous – Dr Sarah McEwan, rural general practitioner working in Indigenous health
• Young Alumni – Dr Nikola Bowden, University of Newcastle researcher into improved diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

President of Alumni, Brian Kennaugh, said each of the winners were an inspiration for students. “Each distinguished winner has had a major impact on the world and displayed the highest standard of professional excellence, creativity and innovation.”

Taken from: website
More info on finalists

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Space Talk at Merewether High School, Newcastle, Australia

After 20 years I returned to Newcastle, Australia but this time it was to give a talk to students of Merewether High School. The event was organized in conjunction with the University of Newcastle's Awards Night to be held at the Newcastle City Hall tomorrow. Two other nominated finalists, Dr. Andrew Mears and Ryan Andriessen supported the event with their own presentation related to their respective careers. I had fun interacting with the students and it was important that we broadened their horizons on the possibilities of choosing their future career path. All and all it was a great event, strengthening the association's continued effort on our outreach programmes abroad.

(More info on awards night: Alumni Awards 2011)

With some of the students of Merewether High School
together with Ryan Andriessen (L) and Dr. Andrew Mears (C)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Angkasawan returns from GAZA

Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor returned safely from Gaza 3 days ago on his second humanitarian mission there. According to him the situation this time was much worse compared to his first visit in January 2009. He said that there were bombings and gunshots everywhere and they had to evacuate after only spending 4 days in Gaza. One of the buildings that got bombed was located some 400 metres from the hotel where they stayed in. He stated that his mission this time was to spearhead the building of a paediatric hospital and maternity ward, which requires RM30 million. He is now trying to raise funds for the said hospital project.

With the Palestinian Prime Minister after the Terawih prayers

MOU signing with the Minister of Health
and contribution of USD60,000 during the visit

With the children of Gaza

Scene of devastation in a mosque in Gaza

Monday, August 15, 2011

Angkasawan on humanitarian mission to GAZA

Dato' Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor left Kuala Lumpur this evening heading towards Gaza on a humanitarian mission. His last visit to Gaza was in 2009, whereby he conducted surgery on war victims there. His mission this time will take approximately 10 days leaving behind his 3 weeks old baby daughter 'Bella' and wife Dr. Halina. We pray for his safe return and wish him every success in Gaza. God bless...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Buka Puasa at KGNS

We had a great time at the buka puasa event held last Friday on the 12th of August 2011, at the Golfers Terrace in Kelab Golf Negara Subang. The Ramadhan buffet had a nice spread with the usual nasi minyak, satay, rojak, ice kacang and other mouth watering goodies. Hope to see you guys at the next one in Rebung soon. Wishing everyone "Selamat Berbuka Puasa" in this great month of Ramadhan...

Monday, July 18, 2011

UniKL’s Microgravity Experiment Selected for Parabolic Flight

The Malaysian Space Agency and Japanese Space Agency had chosen the microgravity experiment of Universiti Kuala Lumpur for a parabolic flight at Japan. 13 universities from Malaysia, public and private universities, competed in the selection process and two universities were chosen to present their experiments. Universiti Kuala Lumpur was one of the two universities that were chosen. A parabolic flight is a flight where microgravity condition exists during a predetermined period of the flight. Microgravity experiments are actuated during the microgravity condition. Universiti Kuala Lumpur’s microgravity experiment is titled “Rate of Transfer of Moisture from Bath Towel to Human Skin During 1G and Microgravity Conditions – Hygienic Purposes”. In this simple and novel experiment, the team from Universiti Kuala Lumpur would measure the rate of transfer of liquid from bath towel to the astronaut’s skin. Astronauts use bath towel in space as showering is not feasible and this experiment would eventually help the production of a more efficient bath towel.

This applied research from Universiti Kuala Lumpur had captured the attention of the Malaysian Space Agency and Japanese Space Agency and this had enhanced Universiti Kuala Lumpur’s reputation as the premier institute in applied research and engineering. The team consisting of advisor Dr. Mohd Harridon Mohamed Suffian and 2 students Muhamad Zaim Ismail and Muhammad Zaim Mahd Nor would actuate the experiment in a GulfStream Jet own by the Japanese Space Agency.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Space Talk at Beaconhouse Sri Inai

On the 29th of June 2011, I gave a talk to 400 primary school children on my experience with the astronaut programme and later spoke to a classroom of children as part of their ‘Dreams do come true’ programme.

All together now!!!

Taking questions

See you next time!!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Perhimpunan Sejuta Belia Putrajaya 2011

It was a great event and we were glad to be a part of it. Do enjoy the pics, hope to see everyone there again next year!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Himpunan Sejuta Belia Putrajaya 2011

Visit our booth next weekend in PUTRAJAYA from the 27th to 29th of May 2011 . Hope to see you all there...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bernam River Fly-in Postponed

The Bernam River Fly-in scheduled for 5th June 2011 has been postponed to the end of September 2011 due to some severe flooding at the airfield over the last few weeks. Please be informed accordingly and we apologize for any inconvenience caused.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mount Kinabalu Climb via Ferrata 9-10th May 2011

We organised a trip to Sabah recently to climb up Mount Kinabalu and down via the highest ferrata route in the world. The objective was to inject some fun amongst the members and to proudly fly our association's flag at the highest peak in South East Asia. The expedition was successful and we had a great time doing it together with several other climbers from Kuching, KL and also from other countries such as New Zealand and Finland to name a few. We hope to inspire others to climb this great mountain and to experience the thrill and challenges of performing the ferrata. We are very sure you will enjoy it as much as we did. To Shafini and Hozay, a million thanks for the great company throughout. Enjoy the pics...

The starting point at Timpohon Gate

On the summit trail

Mount Kinabalu view from Laban Rata

We did it!!!
Low's peak at 4095.2 metres, flying our flag in cold and windy conditions

Hozay proudly showing our flag...

On our way down looking up at the traffic of people climbing up

Getting ready for our ferrata experience

Shafini with the other group of climbers all set for the ferrata

Hozay leading our group and already looking like a pro...

Ok that's me having a blast!!!

Hozay above the clouds

Me too...

As well as Shafini...

Our final leg of the journey leaving Laban Rata

The all important certificates...

See you next time...