Thursday, May 3, 2007

Muslim Astronauts given Space to Pray

Malaysia's first Islamic space travellers will be given guidelines allowing flexibility in praying in zero gravity and eating meals in space.

The government-prepared advice is for a Malaysian joining a Russian scientific mission on the International Space Station in October.

Malaysia's two finalists for the voyage are now training in Moscow. They were selected from more than 10,000 candidates.

Malaysia believes Muslim space travellers could face problems, such as pinpointing the holy city of Mecca for prayers.

Those in space during the holy fasting month of Ramadan — when Muslims are required to go without food or water from sunrise to sunset — can choose to fast at that time or to make up for it when they return, the booklet says.

The first space journey by a Malaysian is likely to overlap with Ramadan, which starts in mid-September this year.

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