Rafil Elyas: Malaise in Space – Angkasawan Pt II

Angkasawan Pt II
by Rafil Elyas

Whilst I wish our space flight participant a safe return home, I am shamed by the sheer magnitude of financial waste and stupidity of all parties involved in our Angkasawan program.

I thought I’d just leave it at one satirical post (refer to pt. I) but the level of idiocy and damage it has done to this country’s credibility in the field of science and technology has infuriated me. I can’t laugh about it anymore.

101007 is when the entire planet snickers (fortunately, in past space flight participants have opened the door for shooting useless personel into space) at this country, and more specifically the Malay peoples. Malay Muslims (true believers or IC ones) have enough trouble casting off stereotypes, the last thing we need is something this big and stupid.

For those Star Trek fans, we are now officially Pakleds.

They could have mitigated some of the idiocy by coming to terms that the guy is just a space tourist and try to “justify” the “scientific” work that he was supposed to execute. Have you been keeping track of what “experiments” he’s supposed to execute? There’s suddenly an influx of “projects” and “experiments” the guy is supposed to be running on the ISS.

Sorry, but there are viewers who practice some form or other of advanced science/technology AND keep abreast of ISS experiments, and know when you’re bullshitting.

Here’s for example:

1) Gyroscopic and fluid mechanics. This was flooded into the papers last year as a statement from the local space agency. This looks like outright PR spin after getting brutally panned by the BBC, local blogs and just about everyone this planet for stating that our space flight participant would be playing gasing and doing something stupid involving teh tarik. Yes, we are aware of this, Dr Mazlan.

2) Protein crystalization for a potential HIV vaccine. They called a molecular biologist to speak about this. Some university department head. She mentioned that it was necessary to go to space to study the effects of cosmic radiation on protein crystalization. Never mind the fact that

i) there been experiments on earth using various radiation sources and accelerators.
ii) The experimentation bays are in shield cladded modules.

Yes, there may be cosmic rays..but because of the efforts to mitigate them, one wouldn’t design an experiment in the ISS to address this issue. THERE ARE PROTEIN CRYSTALIZATION AND FOLDING EXPERIMENTS RUN IN THE ISS… but they are conducted there to study the mechanisms in MICROGRAVITY.

3) In addition to that, Dr Mazlan said Dr Muszaphar would conduct experiments on tropical disease microbes for Malaysia, eyesight and muscles research for Europe Space Agency. For the Japanese Space Agency, he will carry out tests on the effects of radiation in space. “The space project is not a one-off thing. We have solid long term planning for the space programme.”

OK, lets count kids. Assuming there were “gyro” and “fluid mechanics” experiments, that’s SIX experiments the guy is supposed to do. Now, I don’t know how many of you have slogged it out in a earthbound bio/chem/physics lab to do experiments or anything that requires skill, discipline and repeatability -based on my distribution list.. probably only Seow and Philip. There’s no way this guy’s going to set up, execute, monitor, collect data, process and post process SIX experiments. He’s there for TEN DAYS. This guy isn’t even a payload specialist!


a) Never allow Badawi, Najib or the guy who was heading Malaysia’s “space program” to speak freely on technical subjects or anything that would require intelligence. They should have been given prepared text and scripts. The pet American asked “when is the next space mission”, Badawi answers “when we purchase more Sukhoi jets”.

Najib said the country had gone into a new dimension as Malaysia showed progress to be on par with other developed nations. Exactly what the heck sort of progress did we make other than pay for the Russians to physically train one man and add him as payload?

b) Not bothered to hype the Dataran Merdeka “festivities” because they didn’t even bother to to make sure the video screen was functional on such a “momentus” occasion.

Seriously, if you’d just claimed to have a Space Flight Participant or Space Tourist in the first place, that would have been fine. We’ve accepted Dennis Tito and the rich chick from the middle east.

Instead you assume the Malaysian public are stupid or technologically childlike.

And this makes me angry.

This makes me ashamed to be Malaysian.

And it has severely damaged any credibility the Malay race may have had.