Malaysia in Space – Space Program


The Malaysian National Space Agency (ANGKASA) is responsible in leading and observing the development of space science. ANGKASA in Malay stands for Agensi Angkasa Negara. The Malaysian space program was established in the year 2002. The first Malaysian satellite was MeaSAT 1, the first Malaysian made satellite was TiungSAT-1. The first Malaysian in space was Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor.first Malaysian in space picture

First Malaysian Astronaut to Space

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor was the first Malaysian in space and was born in Kuala Lumpur on 26 July 1972. He was launched to the International Space Station aboard Soyuz TMA-11 with the Expedition 16 crew on October 10, 2007. Sheikh Muszaphar flew under an agreement with Russia through the Angkasawan program and returned to Earth on October 21, 2007, aboard Soyuz TMA-10 with the Expedition 15 crew members, Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov, after nine days aboard the station.

Malaysian Astronaut to International Space Station Visitor Candidates:

In 2006, four candidates from Malaysia were selected to go to Star City for initial tests for a planned Soyuz TMA mission to the International Space Station in October 2007.

They were:

1. Dr Faiz Khaleed,  Malaysian Armed Forces dental surgeon, Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Medical Officer,
2. Dr Shaykh Muszaphar Shukor,
3. Malaysian Airlines pilot Mohamed Faiz Kamaluddin and
4. S. Vanajah, Female Engineer.

Two were chosen to train for 18 months: Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor and Faiz Khaleed.  Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor was chosen as the prime crew member and Faiz Khaleed as back-up. The astronaut venture was part of a package offered by the Russian government for Malaysia’s purchase of 18 Sukhoi SU-30 MKM fighter jets.

MeaSAT  1

MeaSAT 1 was the first Malaysian satellite. MeaSAT 1 was a privately own satellite and operated by Binariang. It was launched November 13, 1996, also on Ariane.


TiungSAT-1 was first Malaysian-made satellite. It was launched  on 26th September 2000 from Baikanor, Kazakhstan by a Dnepr rocket. TiungSat-1 was named after the mynah bird of Malaysia and was developed as a collaborative effort between the Malaysian government and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn Bhd (ATSB) was responsible in developing this first programme.

The satellite measured 690 x 366 x 366mm and weighed 50 kg.  TiungSAT-1 was equipped with a Multi Spectral Earth Imaging Camera system and Meteorological Earth Imaging camera system which had a resolution of 72 m and 1.2 km respectively.


Space Programs Outside the United States: All Exploration and Research Efforts, Country by Country by Daphne Burleson from

Lonely Planet Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei by Simon Richmond

Did you know?

Malaysia is located near the equator, the weather is characterized by tropical climate. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. Malaysia borders Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines. Malaysia is a federation of thirteen states and three federal territories in Southeast Asia.

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