ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Sunday said Pakistan was committed to sending its first astronaut to space by 2022.

China would collaborate with Pakistan in its space mission, he said, adding the selection process for the astronaut would start in 2020. Initially, 50 people would be selected and then the list would come down to 25 in 2022. Out of them only one would be sent to space, he told a private news channel. The Pakistani Air Force, he said, would play an important role in the astronaut’s selection.

Hussain said Pakistan was the second in Asia after the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) that had sent its rocket into space in 1963.

The Pakistan Space Science Education Centre was playing an important role for promoting of space sciences in the country, he added.