19 September 2013

MALACCA: Malaysia is expected to send its second batch of astronauts to carry out research at the International Space Station (ISS) by 2016.

Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah said agencies under the ministry were working with numerous parties on the mission and direction of the proposed program.

“We are studying various matters, including sending two astronauts and carrying out experiments that would benefit the nation at the ISS.

“All these considerations have to be looked into, as the program involves a hefty allocation and is not merely a space tour.

“We will submit a proposal to the cabinet when our research is completed,” he said after opening the Science4u Carnival in Air Keroh, here yesterday.

The one-day carnival, held to foster interest in science and technology among students nationwide, is among 103 programs implemented by the ministry in schools.

On Oct 10, 2007, Malaysia sent astronaut Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor to the ISS onboard the Soyuz TMA-11 rocket, with cooperation from the Russian Federal Space Agency.

He carried out experiments, including on cancer cells and leukemia, at the space station.

Source: New Straits Times.

Link: http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/2nd-astronaut-group-by-2016-1.358959.