No funds for Malaysia’s space programme

April 22nd, 2008 - 1:08 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, April 22 (IANS) Six months after sending its first man into space, Malaysia says it has no funds for the second phase of its ambitious space programme. It is “zero cash” for the moment till the entire programme is re-evaluated in terms of knowledge and cost-benefit, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Maximus Ongkili told the media Monday.

In the first phase of the programme, Sheikh Muszaphar Sheikh Shukor and two other astronauts blasted into space in a Russian-built Soyuz 11 rocket from Baikonour in Kazakhstan Oct 10, 2007.

However, the country’s space programme “looks to be as good as grounded”, the Star newspaper said Tuesday. “There is no money for the programme.”

“Under the mid-term review, I can say that there is zero money. If we want to proceed with the second phase we have to look for money,” Ongkili said.

“So far, I am waiting for the results of an analysis report from the International Space Station on its costs and benefits before I go to my cabinet colleagues for guidance.”

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