Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor is a Fellow Researcher at Institute of Space Science National University of Malaysia UKM, orthopaedic surgeon, motivational speaker, and astronaut, the first from his country to venture into space. Dr. Sheikh was selected from 11,435 candidates at the beginning of 2006 for the Malaysian Angkasawan spaceflight program. He came on-board the International Space Station via a Russian Soyuz vehicle with the international Expedition 16 crew on October 10, 2007.
As Ambassador to Mars One, Dr. Sheikh will carry the Mars One Mission concept into the public arena, sharing his enthusiasm for a world-wide astronaut selection process and televised training program. “The Mars One approach to establishing a human settlement on Mars is unique in that it is not a closed system, rather it is open to everyone in the world. I am an example of one who was trained in a field of study here on Earth, and as a practicing professional my skills were also needed in space. Mars One opens travel beyond Earth to so many more people than is otherwise possible. I believe this is very important, to give all children, everywhere, the opportunity to see themselves in a better future, … and maybe, someday, on Mars,” states Dr. Sheikh.
As an astronaut, Sheikh performed experiments on-board the International Space Station (ISS) relating to the characteristics and growth of liver cancer and leukemia cells, studying the crystallization of various proteins and microbes in the weightlessness of space. Dr. sheikh concludes, “[Being in space] was for me simply unbelievable … I would do anything to go there again. If I’m given a chance to go to Mars, even on a one-way ticket, I would do it in a heartbeat. I believe Man will soon go to the red planet, and even build a colony there. I'm looking forward to the day when the Mars One objective is achieved and am proud to be a part of the team which will make this unthinkable journey a reality.”
Bas Lansdorp, co-founder and General Director or Mars One states, "We are so very fortunate to have Dr. Sheikh working to support our endeavor. His enthusiasm and passion for the space sciences and interplanetary exploration is contagious. He personifies the very reason we believe Mars One will be a success, why we already have hundreds of thousands of people from around the world wanting to be involved. For example, with his direct involvement in motivating children to find excitement for the sciences, it seems all the Malaysian children want to be an astronaut.”
On an international front, Sheikh Muszapahar’s motivational talks have recently been heard in California, USA, Jakarta and Bandung, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Saudi Arabia , Jordan and Holland. He is an Ambassador to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, U.N. Ambassador for Global Peace, and recipient of the Shurah Islamic Council, California Peace Award among many other distinctions.