Angkasawan winds down experiments

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 21 Oct 2007

MOSCOW: With one day to his return to earth, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor has to do a lot of systematic packing of his cargo besides terminating the last three experiments.  

He gets to bring back just 7kg of load that includes six experiment kits, a kit containing 14 symbolic items, videotapes and camera flash card as well as 200g of his personal items. 

But his videotape will be the last to go as his final packing and preparation to board the Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft will be videotaped. 

Yesterday, he completed some documentation as well as motion perception experiment on his knee for the European Space Agency. 

Returning to earth: Dr Sheikh Muszaphar gets to bring back just 7kgof load that includes, among others, six experiment kits.

One of his activities on the ISS was videotaping his life in space such as how he brushed his teeth, shaved and prayed. 

“We reminded him to videotape this as Muslims will be keen to see how he conducted his prayers in space,” said head of the scientific team, Prof Dr A. Rahman A. Jamal. 

Dr Sheikh Muszaphar terminated the protein crystallisation, human umbilical vein endothilial cell (Huvec) and osteoblast experiments between 24 and eight hours to docking. 

He also had to ensure the cancer and microbe cells were fixated at 4 degrees centigrade to stabilise their gene components.  

The osteoblast and Huvec were kept at an optimum temperature of 37 degrees. 

The experiment kits are labelled as urgent cargo while the kit with the symbolic items is not.  

Upon landing, the urgent cargo will be transported by National Angkasawan Programme technical committee member Prof Datuk Dr Mazlan Othman.  

Care and speed are required to preserve their results. 

The protein crystals will be sent straight to Osaka University for analysis with an ultra-sophisticated microscope while the osteoblast and Huvec will be brought to Russia’s Institute of Bio Medical Problems for analysis before being flown to Malaysia on Oct 27.  

The cancer and microbe cells will go straight to Malaysian laboratories.  

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