A great leap no doubt, but it is without much controversy and speculation. Some say that our "astronaut" is nothing more than a mere space tourist. If you haven't heard already, people can now travel to space for a cool USD30million. More info here.
Another point taken from todays article in TheStar Online to further support the above "space tourist" statement. Malaysia is paying for the voyage as part of a billion-dollar purchase of Russian fighter jets. So mmuch for the so-called great leap for Malaysian people. More like, great leap for Malaysian tax-payers money.
Ok enough negativity, GOING INTO SPACE IS REALLY COOL. It is every child's dream to fly in a rocket and into space where you can experience zero gravity, "fly like Superman", see the Earth from space, put on that hi-tech space suit. It is every kids dream come true. This lucky bastard will get to do all that tonight.
The whole nation is pretty excited over this occasion, you can call it a pretty big event I suppose. I mean, this IS the first time a Malaysian will be going into space. We should be proud of that since NOT MANY countries have gone into space. From what I heard, most mamak stalls and hang out spots will be screening the live telecast of the launch tonight. Holy shit that is already on par with live football! This IS a BIG event.
Astro has dedicated a 24-hour channel (Channel 588) to cover our astronaut's entire 10-day trip in space. And if you are really gungho about this whole space thing, you can head on down to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (I will most probably head on down there after work) tonight to catch the live-telecast there, our very own Prime Minister will be there too. So it's bound to be big. Otherwise, you can just catch in on TV or at your very own local mamak stall.
Oh well, despite all the criticism.. I wish our Angkasawan and the rest of the space crew a safe journey tonight and Godspeed.