November 3, 2007
Malaysia To Sign MoU With Russia To Develop Space Industry
Malaysia will be signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Russian space agency Roscosmos to develop the country's aerospace industry.
Science, Technology and Innovations Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis said that in an earlier meeting Friday between Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and representatives of the Russian government, Najib had welcomed Roscosmos's proposal to enter into an MoU with the Malaysian Space Agency to develop Malaysia's aerospace industry.
He said the MoU also covered the agreement to train and send another Malaysian astronaut, Mejar Dr Faiz Khaleed, into space in either 2010 or 2011.
"My ministry is currently finalising the MoU and once the discussion with Roscosmos has been finalised, we'll take it to the Cabinet probably by early next year.
"When the MoU is signed, it will also include confirmation of Malaysia's acceptance of the offer to take the slot in 2010 or 2011 apart from creating alliances (with Russia) in the space industry," he told a press conference at the Defence Ministry here today.
Elaborating on the alliance, Jamaludin gave the example of Russia's invitation for Malaysia to participate in its Global Orbiting Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS).
GLONASS, operated by the Russian Space Forces, is a system that uses radio signals to locate people and vehicles on and above the surface of the earth. Its United States counterpart is the Global Positioning System (GPS).
He said that Russia had also offered launchers to send Malaysia's communications satellite into space, as well as assistance with Razaksat, Malaysia's remote sensing satellite.
He added that a ceremony would be held next week in recognition of Malaysia's first astronaut Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor Sheikh Mustapha and future Malaysian astronaut Dr Faiz.
Both were also present at the press conference.