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Sunday, June 27, 2010

"Mohammed" moon station planned?

From The Peninsula (Qatar):
Canadian Astrophysicist and Cosmologist Dr Redouane Al Fakir could not have chosen a better place than Qatar to announce a historic mission that aims to put the Islamic world again at the frontiers of science.

To give the Muslim world a space programme of its own, the Vancouver-based Muhammed Institute for Space Science will announce here a space mission that will land a scientific station bearing the name of the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) on the surface of the moon in 2013.

“A space programme is something that is inevitable for all the nations today. It gives countries a voice and also brings in foreign investment. That is why countries like India invest so much in space programmes despite having millions in poverty. However, the Muslim nations are today lagging behind in space programmes,” said Dr Al Fakir, Director and CEO of the institute.

Dr Al Fakir’s initiative for the moon station comes as a response to the attacks against Prophet Muhammed (PBUH). “We had planned to send a telescope into orbit by 2015. It was then these attacks came and we needed to show the world that what the prophet had really strived for. Hence we started a new-bigger project — Muhammed Moon Station I,” he told The Peninsula

Through the project, Muhammed Institute aims to honour Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) for his role in the birth of rational scientific explanation that led to scientific discoveries during the golden era of Islamic civilization and ultimately to modern science as we know it today.

The institute will take the Prophet’s (PBUH) name to the moon, by putting it on a laboratory that is expected to land on the moon surface by 2013 and later will be upgraded by a much larger Muhammed Moon Station II.

The stations will be an important scientific resource for scientists around the world. Young Muslims in universities can remotely access the station by computer from Earth. It will also have educational and inspirational programmes for school children.

“Our institute is a not-for-profit educational and research charitable organisation fully focused on development of Islamic world in advanced space science. Hence, we do not differentiate between countries or regions. The organisation is for the Muslims and brings in talents of all the Muslims round the world.”

The moon station will be a property of individual Muslims. Hence we have also made sure that the funding should also be individual-based rather than by any nation or organisation. Also the names of donors will be inscribed alongside Prophet Muhammed’s on the moon station and will stay on moon for ever. We just ask each Muslim to donate $1 for the noble cause,” said Dr Al Fakir.
Last year the same guy announced a Muslim space telescope program, also with funding from the Muslim world, and that program seems to have disappeared.

On the website of the "Mohammed Institute of Space Science" we see:
$43,220 raised
$1,571,198,000 to go!
I wonder how much salary he pays himself from these donations he is soliciting? And what happened to the money he raised for the space telescope?

UPDATE: One day later, they haven't raised another penny.