Orthopaedic Surgeon & First Malaysian to go into space
He was launched to the International Space Station aboard Soyuz TMA-11 with the Expedition 16 crew on October 10, 2007. He flew under the agreement with Russia through the Angkasawan programme and returned to Earth on October 21, 2007 along with the Expedition 15 crew members, Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov.
Sheikh Muszaphar was born in Kuala Lumpur and attended high school at Maktab Rendah Sains, MARA in Muar. He then earned a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery degree from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India.
He and three other finalists were selected for the Malaysian Angkasawan spaceflight programme in early 2006. The programme kicked off after Russia agreed to transport one Malaysian to the ISS as part of a multi-billion purchase of 18 Russian Sukhoi Su-30MKM fighter jets by Malaysia. While flying as a guest of the Russian government, his role aboard the Soyuz and the ISS is referred to as a spaceflight participant in English-language Russian Federal Space Agency and NASA documents and press briefings.
During the space flight, Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor performed experiments on board the International Space Station relating to the characteristics and growth of liver cancer and leukemia cells, the crystallisation of various proteins and microbes in space.