27 Left In Malaysia's Race To Space

January 15, 2006

The race to become the first Malaysian astronaut is picking up, with only 27 candidates left fighting to be sent to space, reports The Star Online.

From the initial 894 hopefuls last year, only 25 male and two female candidates will move on to the next round of the selection process.

Science, Technology and Innovations Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis said it would begin on Jan 16 and end on Jan 26.

"It will be divided into three phases. The first phase will involve further medical evaluation, which consists of a stress test, ultrasound of the abdomen, and lung function test," he said.

The candidate will also undergo aero-physiological tests, which will include exposure to high altitudes in an altitude chamber, and gravity tolerance training in the newly-commissioned Human Centrifuge.

Dr Jamaludin said the evaluations would be conducted at Specialist Clinic 95 of the Armed Forces Hospital in Jalan Padang Tembak, Kuala Lumpur, as well as the Institute of Aviation Medicine.

"The candidates will then proceed to the naval base in Lumut for exposure to land- and sea-survival conditions as well as assessment of their mental and physical endurance.

"Various training units in the navy will conduct this phase of the selection process," he said.

Candidates who pass will proceed to the third phase to undergo a final medical examination, which will include a CT scan and endoscopic procedures.

The candidates will also be assessed on psycho-social factors.

Copyright 2006 by Space Daily, Distributed United Press International

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