Perak may launch space tourismBY CHAN LI LEEN
IPOH: Soon it will be possible to take a trip to outer space and back, if one has RM70,000 to spare.
Perak is hoping to be the first in Asia to build a launch pad for space pods with Bristol Spaceplanes Ltd to venture into space tourism.
According to Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali, the company had approached the state to set up the RM480mil project to promote space tourism here.
If the Federal Government gives the go-ahead to the proposal, the company would build the launch pad for the RM100mil Ascender sub-orbital space plane at the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport and nearby land would also be acquired for the project, he said.
He said the Ascender, which could reach a maximum altitude of 100km, could take up to two crew members and two passengers to space and back in 90 minutes.
“It will cost between RM50,000 and RM70,000 to fly a person to space and back on the Ascender,” he said after attending a briefing by the company’s representatives at the state secretariat here on Wednesday.
Tajol Rosli said the state would submit the proposal for Federal evaluation.
“In principle, the state has agreed to the project but we still want the Federal Government to study the viability of having the launch pad in Malaysia and specifically in Ipoh.
“The Federal Government’s consideration is needed because it owns the land next to the airport,” he said.
On whether the project could pose a health risk to those living close to the airport, Tajol Rosli said the state would seek public opinion on the matter.