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The First African Who Would Have Traveled to Space Has Died

A 30-year-old South African young man who won the chance to be the first black African in space has died in a motorbike accident before turning his dream into reality.

Mandla Maseko, 30, was killed on Saturday, a family statement says. In 2013, the South African Air Force member beat one million entrants to win one of 23 places at a space academy in the US.

Mandla Maseko Photo
Mandla Maseko

Nicknamed Afronaut and Space Boy, Maseko described himself as a typical township boy from Pretoria. 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.

Maseko said he wanted to do something that would motivate and inspire young people in Africa and prove that they could achieve anything whatever their background.

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