Malaysia to send an astronaut to the international space station
Malaysia has signed on a contract with Russia to send an astronaut to the international space station next year.
This news was confirmed by Russian space agency officials yesterday. This deal is part of a larger arrangement that also foresees Malaysia buying some Russian Su-30 MKM fighter jets.
The two space agency would be choosing two Malaysian astronauts would be chosen from a group that includes two doctors, a pilot and an engineer. They would undergo training at the Russia’s cosmonaut-training facilities for the September 2007 flight.
The complete deal is estimated to be worth around a billion dollars.
Russiaâ€™s struggling space agency has been financing their operations using revenues from commercial flights for space tourists. They are also helping other nations by sending their space scientists to space.
In fact, even the USA is largely dependent upon Russiaâ€™s spacecrafts for cargo and astronaut delivery since they are facing safety issues with the Space Shuttle fleet.