Religion In Space

An interesting story surfaced this week about Malaysia's National Space Agency, which had held a nationwide competition to determine which of its citizens would go into space. The competition came down to picking two astronauts from four candidates. Of the four, three are Muslims. So the question arises: How do Muslims pray in space?

Some of the practical matters:

  • Prayer should begin with ablutions - water rationing in space makes this difficult as well as time-consuming.
  • How will astronauts know how to face Mecca?
  • Since their destination is the International Space Station, which circles the Earth sixteen times per day, how will Muslims know when to pray five times per day?

A two-day Islam and Life in Space seminar starts on April 25th; according to an offical from the Malaysian Astronomy and Islamic Law Association, this would be the first time the Islamic world had addressed this issue.

I can think of a few references in science fiction about religion in space. Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune addressed the collective pain of a people who were forcibly relocated to another planet, and thus denied their right to the Hajj. This religious pilgrimage to Mecca is required at least once of each able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.

In the same novel, Herbert addresses the needs of religious space travelers who need to carry their holy book, despite drastic weight restrictions. The filament paper book is presented as a technology that allows holy books on spacecraft.

In his 1959 novel A Case of Conscience, science fiction author James Blish examines the case of how it is possible that the creatures of a distant planet obey every precept of Christian values, yet are without religion.

Read more at Malaysia Conference Considers How To Practice Islam In Space.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/23/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

Sex In Driverless Cars? Updated With Video!
'...admirable for petting.' - David H. Keller, 1935.

Xinhua AI Anchor Puts CGI Face To Automated News
'...a congeries of software agents.' - William Gibson, 1996.

Wirewax Watching You Watch, Adjusting Your Experience
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...' - Philip K. Dick, 1964.

Disney Keeps Backups Of Star Wars Franchise Actors
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents...' - William Gibson, 1996.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Bring in that crop algae.

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...'

WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'

Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'

Saturn's Rings To Vanish, Let's Mine Them While We Can
'...the valuable shards of what had once been satellites.'

Humans Could Take Up A LOT Less Space
We'd have a lot more room for gardening...

Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale
'Carter had watched miniaturization a hundred times...'

GMO Houseplant Cleans Your Air
Removes compounds too small to be captured by a HEPA filter.

Nova Meat Can 3D Print Your Dinner
Printing out chicken nuggets.

MIT Scientists Create 'Peek-a-Boo Prober' From Jetsons
Well, George, it's the latest thing.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.