Malaysia’s National Planetarium Turns 25

We here at Automology are very big fans of space. It was in the pursuit of space travel that our sponsor, X-1R, was founded, which then made the existence of this automotive blog possible. So, yay to space!

Our very home country, Malaysia, have long acknowledged the importance of astronomy and space science. In 1994, the country’s National Planetarium was launched by our then (and now!) Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad. In September of the same year, the famed theoretical physicist and cosmologist, Professor Stephen Hawking delivered a lecture there, entitled “Is Physics Predictable?”

Placed in charge of overseeing the development of the planetarium was Professor Emeritus Datuk Dr. Mazlan, one of the country’s most respected figures. She was the first women to earn a PhD in Physics from the University of Otago, New Zealand and subsequently became Malaysia’s very first astrophysicist.


25 years later, the planetarium continues to be a source of information and inspiration for local and foreign visitors—over 6 million visitors have been to the planetarium since its opening. According to NASA, “Human space exploration helps to address fundamental questions about our place in the Universe and the history of our solar system. Through addressing the challenges related to human space exploration we expand technology, create new industries, and help to foster a peaceful connection with other nations.”


The blue-domed structure of the National Planetarium, with muqarnas motif, is a stunning architectural achievement itself. Inside, the various exhibits include a space pod that simulates the environment of different planets in our solar system in 3D, mock-ups of the Russian Soyuz capsule and spacecraft cockpit, miniatures of space vehicles and more.

At the launch of the planetarium’s 25th anniversary coffee table book,  the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Dr Wan Azizah said that the National Planetarium brings students of all levels closer to space sciences, astronomy and Islamic astronomy studies; this contributes to the country’s economic development, defence and telecommunication systems and national safety via methods derived from space technology.

The X-1R team seated with the Kingz Motorcycle Group, a local Harley bike club, at the National Planetarium’s 25th Anniversary coffee table book launch. Both are supporters of the planetarium and promoting space education. 

Perhaps the section of the planetarium that us common folks can most relate to is the Spin-Off technologies; these are the space technology adapted for everyday usage. From memory foam to water filter, these everyday items originated from space tech. And our sponsor X-1R’s range of automotive products is one of them too.

In 1994, X-1R created the ultra-high performance solution, the X-1R Crawler Track Lube, to lubricate the massive crawler machines that are used to transport the space shuttle and mobile launch platform, which together weigh about 11 million pounds. Since then, the company has been inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame and is a Certified Space Technology, and supplies a range of automotive lubricant and additives for cars and motorbikes.

Visit the National Planetarium’s website and plan your journey to space!

Visit X-1R’s website to get a bit space tech into your own car or bike.

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