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Malaysia's first astronaut to fly to ISS on Russia's Soyuz

Malaysia is planning a dedicated television channel for round-the-clock coverage of the nation's first astronaut in space in October, a report said Monday.

Deputy Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Kong Cho Ha was quoted by the New Straits Times as saying that preparations were being discussed with Russian authorities to telecast the event live on Oct. 6.

"Our astronaut will board the Russian spacecraft, Soyuz 2, to the International Space Station," Kong said in the report. "We have fixed the date for the launching and they are expected to dock at the ISS on Oct. 6."

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, 34, and Faiz Khaleed, 26, are vying to join a Russian space expedition. Sheikh Muszaphar is considered the "priority" candidate while Faiz is the reserve option, the government has said. They were selected from more than 10,000 candidates.

Both are currently in Moscow undergoing training.

Kong and ministry officials could not be reached for comments.