Pakistan to send its first astronaut to space in 2022

Pakistan announced that it will send its first astronaut to space in 2022 using close ally China's satellite launch facilities.

Pakistan's decision came as India on Monday successfully launched its second lunar mission 'Chandrayaan-2'.

Fawad Chaudhry, Minister for Science and Technology, said the selection process of the astronaut for the space mission would start from February 2020.

"Proud to announce that selection process for the first Pakistani to be sent to Space shall begin from February 2020. Fifty people will be short listed. The list will then come down to 25 and in 2022 we will send our first person to space. This will be the biggest space event of our country, Chaudhry said in a tweet.

Chaudhry said the Pakistani Air Force will play a lead role in the selection process of the astronaut for the space mission.

"The Air force will be the custodian of the selection process. Globally pilots are selected for space missions," he was quoted as saying by the 'Dawn News' website.

He said that initially 50 pilots will be selected, from which the list will be brought down to 25 and then 10.

"Ten pilots will be trained and eventually one pilot will be sent to space," he said.