Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The First Malaysian Angkasawan (Astronaut) !

The Star Online


BAIKONUR (Kazakhstan): Hospital UKM’s Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor will make history when he goes into space on board the Russian Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft at 9.22pm (Malaysian time) on Wednesday.

“It’s a small step for me, but a great leap for the Malaysian people,’’ Dr Sheikh Muszaphar – the first Malaysian to go into space – told the Associated Press, rephrasing Neil Armstrong’s legendary words after the Apollo landing on the moon in 1969.

He will spend 10 days in space, including eight on board the International Space Station (ISS) where he will be part of the ISS Expedition16 crew.

The TMA-11 craft carrying the 35-year-old doctor and his flight mates – Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and American astronaut Peggy Whitson – is scheduled to dock at the ISS at 10.51pm (local time) on Friday.

Read the full article here

I wonder if Dr. Sheikh is a chessmaniac like me, he should bring a chess set or chess playing software to the space. In fact, Fritz is the only chess program that has been in space. In April 1999 it was transported to the space station Mir to entertain the cosmonauts who were spending many months in orbit!

Another intresting stroy is in 1968, Stanley Kubrick (a strong chess player himself) directed 2001: A Space Odyssey. It is probably the most famous man vs. computer chess games in film. The movie features an astronaut, Dr. Frank Poole (played by Gary Lockwood), playing a chess game with the white pieces against the HAL-9000 computer (voice by Douglas Rain).

Read the full article and the game here

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