Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Malaysia concerned for Muslim space travelers

From Fark: "Muslim astronauts face challenges: When to pray, which direction Mecca is and how to get bombs to detonate in space".

BANGI, Malaysia (Reuters) - As Malaysia prepares to pick its first astronaut, the country's space agency is hunting for solutions to the problems it expects devout Muslims to face while in orbit, such as in which direction to pray.

One of the five pillars of Islam requires the faithful to pray five times a day, and to face Mecca, the birthplace of Islam, while doing so. Astronauts aboard spaceships could have difficulty meeting these requirements.

"Among the astronaut's needs, if he is a Muslim, are guidelines on performing prayers in space, and other aspects of life according to Islamic principles," Malaysian government official Mohd Ruddin Abdul Ghani told a two-day meeting of scientists and religious experts to thrash out solutions.

There are three Muslims on a shortlist of four candidates from which Malaysia must pick two in May to begin training as astronauts. The program was launched two years ago, after Russia offered the country a free trip into space aboard a Soyuz spacecraft.


Blogger X-Eyed Jules said...

I wonder what u think of this? Bad? Good? Funny? Ridiculous? Petty?

10:51 PM  
Blogger Basil Fawlty said...

I think, as a subject of debate, it's ridiculous. They...ok, we are obsessed with form over issues that matter, bristling at every perceived slight aimed our way when the real issues are never addressed. To answer your question, I think it's sad, petty and really kind of funny in a pathetic sort of way.

11:07 PM  

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