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Dr Sheikh: Work with China, send woman on 2030 space mission
Published:  Oct 31, 2018 10:46 AM
Updated: 2:55 AM

The country’s first astronaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor has urged the government to work with China in its second mission to space, reported Sinar Harian.

He also suggested that a woman would be chosen as Malaysia’s next astronaut.

“The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has an action plan to send another astronaut to space in 2030.

“This time, we need to do something different, maybe we can send a woman so that she can be an inspiration to women nationwide.

“I hope the programme this time will have different objectives from mine, there is no point in doing the same thing as what I did,” he was quoted as saying.

It was previously proposed back in 2013 that Malaysia would deploy a second batch of astronauts to carry out numerous research work on the International Space Station (ISS) by 2016.

Former premier Najib Abdul Razak had then in Feb 2017, announced that the National Space Agency had been tasked with drafting the National Space Policy 2030.

Sheikh, who went to space in 2007, urged the government to partner with China for its next space mission as the latter was now the “next frontier in space”.

“I feel that we can work together with China to send another astronaut to space.

“I have a good relationship with Chinese astronauts, especially with its first astronaut (Yang Liwei). I get many invitations from China,” he said.

He thus hoped that Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad would be able to revive the country’s astronaut programme.

In his 2007 space mission, Sheikh Muszaphar had travelled to the ISS on the Soyuz TMA-11 rocket, in collaboration with Russion, where he carried out numerous experiments including on leukaemia.