In a tweet on Thursday, Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Science and Technology announced that Pakistan aims to send an astronaut into space by 2022, with the selection process beginning next year.
In his tweet, Chaudhry said “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, the list will come down to 25 and in 2022 we will send our first person to space, this will be the biggest event of our history”
Speaking to reporters Chaudhry mentioned that the Pakistan Air Force will be in charge of the selection process. Eventually training 10 pilots and sending 1 into space.
This announcement comes after India successfully launched its second lunar exploration mission, Chaandrayaan-2.
The minister also added that Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) is in agreement with China to use Chinese satellite launching facilities for the ambitious mission.