At least three budding astronauts have dropped out of a private sector-led effort to send a Singaporean into space.
They decided to quit mainly after being asked to pay for the training - something they were not told prior to signing up for the programme.
The former candidates, who spoke to
For example, no formal agreement has been made between the firm and the candidates outlining details of matters such as training and costs. Nor has it revealed its space or engineering partners.
The three former candidates said they were shocked when they were told a few months ago that they had to pay for training in skills such as deep-sea diving.
These grouses have surfaced with just over a year to go before National Day next year, when IN.Genius aims to launch from
Most of the original 26 pilots shortlisted in February were
To launch its craft from
When pressed about partners,
IN.Genius itself is leading the overall system engineering, capsule design and avionics, he said.
He revealed for the first time that the mission will cost
The space venture is backed by the Science Centre Board and the
"It is not because we are hiding something but rather there is confidentiality we have to respect," said
He confirmed that candidates were asked to pay for training.
E-mail records showed they were quoted a fee of about
Space industry experts here
One who requested not to be named said: "If I'm a candidate, I will tell him, 'Either you show me what's your timeline, what's your spacecraft, who is responsible for what, to make me feel more comfortable, or I'll back out'." But another expert who has worked with
Professor Lui believed the project "will succeed", but added that candidates should also be realistic.
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