Mandla Maseko aka Spaceboy was a 30-year-old from South Africa with a dream. He hailed from the city of Pretoria and was in the South African Air Force. When a chance came to go to space, he entered the competition. He beat other contenders easily and earned nicknames of Spaceboy and Afronaut. There were nearly one million competitors. He sailed through with ease and became one of twenty-three people chosen for the space expedition. Former NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin was a member of the judging panel. Mandla Maseko aka Spaceboy hoped to one day utter a line like Neil Armstrong did. However, man proposes and God disposes. If you want to know why, keep reading. This is the story of unfulfilled dreams of a bright youngster. He was a would-be spaceman died in a road accident. It was the sad end to a bright career.
Mandla Maseko aka Spaceboy trained in America
After selection, Mandla Maseko went to attend classes in America. It was the Axe Apollo Space Academy. That was in 2015 and the academy was in the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. The candidates had to undergo a range of training to become fit for the expedition. These consisted of mental aptitude tests, combat training in a fighter jet, and zero gravity training. The Spaceboy cleared the hurdles and was excited at his future prospects. He would become the first African to go to space. The 23 selected candidates were to travel aboard the XCOR Aerospace Lynx commercial spacecraft. However, the company went bankrupt in 2017 and there are no fresh plans.
Tragic end to Mandla Maseko’s dreams
The loss of Mandla Maseko has hit South Africa hard. The country was proud of him and might not get such an opportunity again. Mourners are devastated at the loss. One mourner said he was a “beacon of light” who had done “great things” for Africa. Incidentally, Maseko had wanted to go to space with a purpose. He wanted to motivate and inspire the African youth. May his soul rest in peace.