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  Wednesday, December 11, 2019
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Malaysia's first astronaut will fly to the International Space Station on board a Russian Soyuz space shuttle in September 2007
Malaysia's first astronaut will fly to the International Space Station on board a Russian Soyuz space shuttle in September 2007, Russia's state space agency said Friday. Speaking at a news briefing after Russian and Malaysian officials signed a package of documents on the planned flight, space agency deputy director Yury Nosenko said: "Preparations and the selection of Malaysian astronauts have already been launched. The final choice of two astronauts will be made in late August or in September [2006]." Nosenko said preparations would take one year, and that the launch had been slated for September 2007. Russia will send Malaysian astronauts into space as part of a $900-million contract signed in 2003 to supply Malaysia with 18 Russian multipurpose Su-30MKM air superiority fighters. Russia proposed sending the astronauts to the ISS as part of its bid. Under the contract, Russia is also expected to help Malaysia open a Su MKM maintenance center.
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