Pakistan to send its first astronaut into space in 2022

Shortlisting of Pakistani astronauts for space mission to begin in Feb. 2020, says science and technology minister

Aamir Latif   | 25.07.2019
Pakistan to send its first astronaut into space in 2022

KARACHI, Pakistan

Pakistan will send its first-ever human being into space in 2022, Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudhry announced on Thursday.

"Proud to announce that selection process for the first Pakistani to be sent to space shall begin from Feb 2020," he shared.

"Fifty people will be shortlisted -- list will then come down to 25 and in 2022, we will send our first person to space," Chaudhry said in a tweet adding, “This will be the biggest space event of our history.”

The announcement came days after neighboring India sent an unmanned mission to moon’s far-side. India plans to send its first manned spacecraft by 2022.

Quoting Chaudhry, local broadcaster Dawn News reported that Pakistan Air Force, which had been assigned the selection task, would train ten pilots after the final selection process. Of them one would be sent into space.

A Chinese facility would be used to send the country’s first astronaut into space as per an already existed agreement, he added.

Pakistan, in July last year, sent two satellites into space from a launching facility in China -- Islamabad’s largest military and trade partner.

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