Wednesday, 10th October 2007
A Russian rocket blasted off from Kazakhstan's Baikonur launch pad, carrying 3 astronauts to the international space station. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, a Malaysian orthopedic surgeon and university lecturer from Kuala Lumpur, left Earth alongside Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and American astronaut Peggy Whitson. Shukor was selected from among 11,000 Malaysian candidates to fly aboard the ISS in a deal his government arranged with Russia as part of a $1 billion purchase of Russian fighter jets. Whitson will be the first woman to command the outpost.