Tributes are pouring in for South African Mandla Maseko after he died in a bike accident this weekend. Maseko, who was known as ‘Spaceboy’ and ‘Afronaut,’ was going to be the first black African to travel to space.
The 30-year-old man was a candidate officer in the South African Air Force and a public speaker. In 2013, he beat off millions of entrants and won a spot at the Axe Apollo Space Academy in the US in 2013, along with 22 other people.
South Africans took to social media and paid tribute to Maseko. He was described as an inspiration to all young South Africans.
According to BBC, he had spent a week at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida doing tests in preparation for an hour-long sub-orbital flight, originally scheduled for 2015. In an interview with BBC before his death, Maseko said he wanted to “motivate and inspire young people in Africa and prove that they could achieve anything whatever their background”.
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