On Thursday, India’s neighbor Pakistan announced that it will send its first astronaut to space in 2022 using close ally China’s satellite launch facilities. The announcement came as India on Monday successfully launched its second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2.
Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan’s Minister for Science and Technology, said the selection method of the astronaut for the space mission would commence from February 2020.
Mr. Chaudhry said in a tweet, “Proud to announce that selection process for the first Pakistani to be sent to Space shall begin from February 2020. Fifty people will be short-listed. The list will then come down to 25 and in 2022 we will send our first person to space. This will be the biggest space event of our country.”
Proud to announce that selection process for the first Pakistani to be sent to Space shall begin from Feb 2020,fifty people will be shortlisted — list will then come down to 25 and in 2022 we will send our first person to space,this will be the biggest space event of our history— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) July 25, 2019
Fawad Chaudhry said the Pakistani Air Force will play a lead role in the selection process of the astronaut for the space mission. “The Air force will be the custodian of the selection process. Globally pilots are selected for space missions,” he was quoted as saying by the Dawn News website. He said that initially 50 pilots will be selected, from which the list will be brought down to 25 and then 10. “Ten pilots will be trained and eventually one pilot will be sent to space,” he further said.
The report of ExpressTribune says previously Pakistan has launched two indigenously-built satellites, onboard the Chinese Long March (LM-2C) rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre located at the Gobi desert.