ISLAMABAD       -     Federal Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Sunday said that Pakistan was committed to send its first astronaut to space by 2022.

China would collaborate with Pakistan in its space mission, he said, adding, that the selection process for the astronaut would start in 2020.

Initially, 50 persons would be selected and then the list would come down to 25 in 2022, out of them only one would be sent to the space, he told a private news channel.

The Pakistani Air Force, he said, would play an important role in the astronaut’s selection.

To a question, the Minister said that the debris of India’s first space mission namely ‘Shakti’, which had failed, was even posing dangers to the space missions of other countries.

He said that the collaboration of Pakistan and India in the field of science and technology could prove fruitful for the region.

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

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