Published: Tue, July 09, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Mandla Maseko aka "Spaceboy" dies

Mandla Maseko aka

Mandla Maseko speaks to a journalist in Mabopane, north of Pretori, South Africa, Jan. 9, 2014.

However, recalling how he became passionate about the space, he recounted that at the age of 13, he watched a movie titled Apollo13, and that was what fascinated him.

Maseko, popularly known as Spaceboy and Afronaut, was one of 23 people who won a seat on a trip to space.

A young tech genius who was set to be the first African to reach space has tragically died in a motorbike accident on Saturday July 6, 2019.

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In 2013, the AXE Apollo Space Academy launched an online contest that sought to send men and women from 60 countries all over the world to travel to space on the state-of-the-art Lynx space planes. Maseko died in a motorcycle accident on Saturday night. Shabangu said that even though Maseko did not end up going to space, he would have wanted his hope to spread. He was working as a part-time disc jockey and was a candidate officer in the South African air force, according to South Africa's Eye Witness News. In recognition of his impact and motivating spirit, the Gauteng Department of Education in 2016 honoured him and named the science building located at the Curtis Nkondo School of Specialisation after him.

"Maseko, 30, a Soshanguve native, went on to train as a private pilot and became a corporal in the South African National Defence Force [SANDF]", the family statement said. "He used to always say that the sky was no longer the limit".

Maseko was killed in Pretoria over the weekend, according to a family statement reported by local media Monday (local time). We are very distraught because most people only found out this morning.

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