Malaysia could become the next country to launch a spacecraft, at least that’s according to the Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) Minister Chang Lih Kang. In a statement the minister said that MOSTI through the Malaysia Space Agency (MYSA) will be looking at developing a study guideline on the feasibility of building a spacecraft launch site in Malaysia, in an efforts towards exploring new economic opportunities.
According to Chang, the government believes that Malaysia has the potential to be involved in the development of a rocket launching facility. This is in part thanks to the strategic location Malaysia finds itself in close to the equatorial line, giving us a unique advantage in developing launch facilities with more competitive operating costs. At the moment though, MYSA will be engaging with several parties and industries that may be interested in developing such a site.
Chang added that if Malaysia does go through with the plan, it would be the 16th such facility in the world, and would also make Malaysia the ninth country to have a spacecraft launch site. The current eight countries to have a spacecraft launch site meanwhile are China, India, Israel, New Zealand, Russia, France, Japan and the US. He added that with the development of the space industry in Malaysia, it could become worth an estimated RM10 billion by the end of the decade, along with the growth of 500 space-tech startups and the creation of 5,000 job opportunities.
On top of that, MOSTI will be drafting a National Remote Sensing Satellite Development Program (PSPJN) too through a public and private partnership plan that is expected to start some time in 2026. This program will be aimed at ensuring the continued ownership of the country’s strategic data which supports the operational efficiency of the 50-piece application system that has been developed by MYSA.