Islamabad: On Thursday Pakistan announced that it will send its first astronaut to space in 2022 with selection process to find the suitable astronaut scheduled to begin next year.
The announcement came after India launched successfully its second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2.
Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Science and Technology, said the selection process of the astronaut for the space mission would start from February 2020.
“Proud to announce that selection process for the first Pakistani to be sent to Space shall begin from February 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 he biggest space event of our history,” Chaudhry tweeted.
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
Speaking to Dawn.com, Chaudhry said that the Air Force will be the custodian of the selection process, adding that all around the world pilots are selected for space missions. He said that initially 50 pilots will be selected, from which the list will be brought down to 25 and then 10.
As the country does not have its own satellite launching facility, Pakistan will use a Chinese facility under an agreement between Pakistan and China.