Muslim Astronauts – Sheikh Muszaphar, the ninth Muslim in space
Astronomy and space science are nothing new to Islam, ok, I’m sure you all know that. Since ancient times, Muslim scientists have studied astronomy, contributing greatly to human knowledge. Islam was pretty much advance in this field during the heydays of Muslim civilization. But over centuries, the lacking of financial and human resource (plus whatever troubles/wars/other shits that they’re getting themselve into in the last decade or two) seems to haul the muslim back from further advancement. I am looking forward to a day when Islam is back to where it left in the field of astronomy.
Anyway, from IslamOnline, I read with our Sheikh Muszaphar stepping on aboard Soyuz TMA-11, it makes a total of 9 Muslim Astronauts in space.
The previous eight :-
1. Prince Sultan bin Salman AbdulAziz Al-Saud from Saudi Arabia. In 1985 Al-Saud joined the crew of mission STS-51G on board the American space shuttle Discovery as a payload specialist to deliver the ARABSAT 1-B communication satellite into orbit.
2. Next came Syrian Muhammed Faris who, in July 1987, joined the crew of Russian mission Soyuz TM-3. Originally a navigation pilot with a rank of colonel in the Syrian Air Force, Faris flew as research cosmonaut to the Soviet space station Mir.
3. Five months later, Azerbaijani Musa Manarov flew in December 1987 as part of the Russian Soyuz TM-4 mission to Mir. Originally a colonel in the Soviet Union’s Air Force, Manarov joined the mission as flight engineer. Along with his fellow crew members, they became the first ever to spend a whole year in space, returning back to Earth in December 1988. Manarov flew again as flight engineer as part of the Soyuz TM-11 mission in December 1990, this time spending a year and three months in space during which he performed more than 20 hours of spacewalk.
4. While still in space during his first mission in August 1988, Manarov was joined by another Muslim from Afghanistan aboard space station Mir. A pilot in the Afghan Air Force, Abdul Ahad Mohmand flew aboard the Soyuz TM-6 mission as research cosmonaut and spent eight days on Mir conducting experiments along with his crewmates.
5. 10 years later, another Muslim, Tokhtar Aubakirov from Kazakhstan. In 1991, Aubakirov joined the Soyuz TM-13 crew to Mir and spent eight days in space, even though he had not completed his professional training as a cosmonaut.
6. Another Kazakh followed soon, however, in 1994 on board the Soyuz TM-19. Talgat Musabayev flew as flight engineer for this mission and later commanded two other flights in 1998 and 2001. Musabayev’s second mission on Suyoz TM-27 would only arrive at space station Mir on January 29, 1998, two days before another mission, STS-89, was set to leave.
7. Cosmonaut mission specialist Salihzan Shakirovich Sharipov from the American space shuttle Endeavour’s mission STS-89. Originally a fighter pilot and flight trainer from Uzbekistan, Sharipov flew another mission in 2004 dubbed Expedition 10 that lasted about six months in space at the ISS.
8. Iranian-American Anousheh Ansari became the first female private space tourist in September 2006. Traveling aboard the Soyuz TMA-9 as part of the Expedition 14 mission, Ansari also became the first person to blog from space.