Malaysia can send second astronaut if country remains committed - Sheikh Muszaphar
KUCHING - Political stability and a progressive government will propel Malaysia to achieve its commitment to send a second astronaut in 2030, said the nation’s first astronaut Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor.
He said the initiative under the Malaysian National Space Agency's blueprint aims to send the country’s first ‘angkasawati’ or woman astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS) and the round of selection will take place in 2025 or 2026.
"The blueprint is to search for the angkasawati, for a woman (astronaut) this time and I do hope it will come from Sarawak,” he said when met by reporters after delivering a talk at the Museum of The Moon Exhibition at Borneo Cultures Museum here, last night.
In 2013, it was reported that Malaysia under the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation (Mosti) was expected to deploy a second batch of astronauts to carry out numerous research work on the ISS by 2016.
On the exhibition, he said the museum could design more activities in future that would attract young visitors to become doctors, scientists and engineers.
Earlier during his motivational talk entitled ‘Journey To Space’, Sheikh Muszaphar, who went to space in 2007 said the Sarawak government plays a vital role to spark interest among Sarawakian students to venture into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (Stem) education.
Meanwhile, Sarawak Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said the Museum of The Moon Exhibition would provide the necessary exposure to university and school students on Stem, particularly about the moon.
He said such an exhibition is in line with the state’s Post-Covid-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS 2030) to recognise the importance of incorporating science.
"Although we still have a long way to go in terms of space exploration, a society that embraces science and is data-driven must be established as a solid foundation for future growth in Stem education at all levels,” he said in his opening speech.
The exhibition which is an artwork tour by United Kingdom artist, Luke Jerram is the first to be held in Malaysia from June 17 to Aug 5.
Visitors will be mesmerised by a massive replica of the moon suspended in mid-air at the centre of the museum which is lit using internal lights on the surface of the sphere.
Measuring seven meters in diameter, moon replica features a detailed image from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) of United States of the lunar surface. - BERNAMA