Mandla Maseko dead in a motorcycle accident
He should have been the first "black" African astronaut
Mandla Maseko died in a motorcycle accident Mandla Maseko on Saturday evening. He should have been the first "black" African to fly in space. Nicknamed "Spaceboy", in 2014 the 30-year-old astronaut, who grew up in Mabopane near Pretoria, had beaten a million competitors by winning with 23 other candidates a journey through space offered by "Ax Apollo Space Academy".
Maseko should have gone into space as early as 2015, but the Lynx shuttle was not launched due to technical and economic problems. In the meantime he had become a pilot and corporal of the South African defense. In 2017 the space flight development company XCor Aerospace filed for bankruptcy and the mission was delayed again without a specific date.
Now this beatiful story ended with a tragic epilogue. He would not have been the first African ever to fly in space. In 2002 South-African entrepreneur Mark Shuttlework had made the dream come true by buying a seat on a Russian Soyuz capsule and spending eight days aboard the International Space Station. A flight specialization school in Johannesburg has been dedicated to Maseko.
AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency