Update 4 Oct 07: Astrocannot is also Cosmocannot
According to The Star, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar is our astronaut. According to Malaysiakini, he's a part-time model AND astronaut.
According to NASA however, he's neither Astronaut, nor Cosmonaut (ie. Russki ler)... but get this... he's a "Spaceflight Participant". In NASA-speak... that basically means baggage. The kind a space crew needs as much as you'd need a pair of testicles growing out of your forehead.
And the website also has short descriptions of what each person will be doing on the mission:The Expedition 16 crew members pose for a portrait at the Johnson Space Center. From the left (front row) are Russia’s Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, flight engineer and Soyuz commander; astronaut Peggy Whitson, commander; and Malaysian spaceflight participant Sheikh Muzhaphar Shukor. From the left (back row) are European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Léopold Eyharts, astronaut Garrett Reisman and astronaut Dan Tani, all flight engineers.
Commander Peggy A. Whitson - Whitson is the commander for Expedition 16. This is her second tour of duty aboard the station. She also was a flight engineer and science officer for Expedition 5 in 2002. Whitson also worked underwater as a NEEMO 5 crew member in 2003. + BiographyEveyone's either a flight engineer or the commander. But what will our jaguh kampung will be doing?...
Flight Engineer Daniel M. Tani - Tani will fly to the station aboard space shuttle Discovery on STS-120 and join Expedition 16 as a flight engineer. He will return home aboard space shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-122. + Biography
Spaceflight Participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor - Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor will launch with Expedition 16 and land with Expedition 15. + [no Biography linked].Ahem... that's as concise as it gets... he go up, waste some oxygen, and he come down. And THAT folks is what our tax-payer millions is paying for. Wasteful and grossly misplaced national pride. Well... that and a live test on the trajectory of ejaculate when one masturbates in space. Because judging from the amount of respect our 'space flight participant' is getting from NASA, wanking will be about all he's allowed to do.
Also read how I insulted our space flight participant earlier on Outer Space - The Final Frontier for Malaysia Bodoh... oops Boleh.