Mandla Maseko, one of 23 people who won a seat on a trip to space sponsored by the Axe Apollo Space Academy, reportedly died in a motorcycle crash which occurred last night, July 6, 2019.

Maseko, popularly known as Spaceboy and Afronaut, before his death would have been the first black African in space, after beating over a million people to win the sub-orbital trip.

“It is with deep sadness that the Maseko family confirms that Mandla Maseko tragically passed away in a bike accident last night, July 6 2019,” family spokesperson Sthembile Shabangu said in a media release on Sunday.

“Maseko will be sorely missed. May Mandla Maseko’s kind and beautiful soul rest in eternal peace.”

The 30-year-old candidate officer in the South African Air Force, grew up in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria. He was scheduled to be in the hour-long sub-orbital trip on the Lynx Mark II spaceship.

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