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Sad end to SA’s first black ‘Afronaut’

Mandla Maseko, who was known as “Spaceboy” or “Afronaut” died tragically at the weekend in a bike accident.

Maseko, 30, would have been the first black African to have travelled into space.

Afronaut was a candidate office in the South African Air Force and a public speaker.

In 2013 he and 22 other people, beat millions of entrants to win a spot at the Axe Apollo Space Academy in the United States.

His motorbike was struck by a car on Saturday.

According to BBC, Maseko underwent training for a sub-orbital flight at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, unfortunately he never go the chance to go into space as the company, XCOR Aerospace, who was organising the flight, went bankrupt in 2017.

He returned to the armed forced where he worked as a private pilot and in his spare time he was an avid DJ and biker with the Tshwane Legend Bikers.

In 2016 the Gauteng Department of Education honoured Maseko by naming the science building at Curtis Nkondo School of Specialisation after him.