AstroX, the Astronautical Association of Malaysia, was established in 2009 to generate interest and promote knowledge in aerospace and science among the younger generation.
Two years earlier, the Malaysian government secured a seat on board the three-seater Soyuz capsule launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. On 10 October 2007, the nation watched as a young Malaysian, the country’s first angkasawan (astronaut), successfully launched into space in a “roaring column of fire”. He’d been selected, following rigorous screenings, from a pool of 11,000 applicants, as this opportunity was open to all Malaysians.
Aiming high to enhance science literacy
AstroX is also known as the Astronaut Corps of Malaysia. Dato’ Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, that first young angkasawan, is patron of AstroX and former members of Malaysia’s first Angkasawan programme serve on the association’s committee.
AstroX “started as an NGO and evolved into a social enterprise due to the scarcity of grants”, explains Faiz Kamaludin, AstroX Founder and President. “Now we have expanded from aerospace education to leading other organisations in the Malaysian space community and social entrepreneurship sector.”
Kamaludin says there was a big decline in science literacy among schoolchildren in Malaysia, which prompted them to introduce rocketry workshops to ignite their interest. “Our organisation is now leading the social entrepreneurship sector in Malaysia,” he says.
AstroX has also signed an MOU to organise the first Youth Conference in October 2023 to promote space and entrepreneurship to young adults.
World Space Week focus
The association takes part in the UN-led World Space Week from 4 to 10 October each year. This year Malaysia hosted the event. Space-related education and events by space agencies, aerospace companies, schools, planetaria, museums, and astronomy clubs from around the world are on offer. World Space Week commemorates two events, the 4 October 1957 launch of Sputnik 1, the first human-made satellite which opened the way for space exploration. The other is the signing of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies on 10 October 1967.
Social entrepreneurs are known for finding solutions to society’s problems. What is the problem that you are addressing and what is your solution?
There was a big decline in science literacy among schoolchildren in Malaysia and we introduced rocketry workshops to ignite their interest. Our organisation is now leading the social entrepreneurship sector in Malaysia.
We signed an MOU to organise the first Youth Conference in October 2023 to promote space and entrepreneurship to young adults.
Are you collaborating with any other Catalyst 2030 members?
We work with Catalyst 2030 Malaysia Chapter, the Ministry of Education Malaysia, Spacevio, GoSTEM, Axis Experience, and many others.