Man Set To Be First Black African In Space Killed In Motorbike Accident

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A South African man who won the chance to be the first black African in space has died in a motorbike crash, his family announced on Sunday.

Mandla Maseko, a part-time DJ, and candidate officer with the South African Air Force, was nicknamed “Afronaut” after landing a coveted seat to fly 103-kilometers (64 miles) into space in 2013 in a competition organised by a US-based space academy.

He died in a motorcycle accident on Saturday, according to a family statement cited by local media.

The 30-year-old had beaten many entrants from 75 countries to be selected as one of 23 people who would travel on an hour-long sub-orbital trip on the Lynx Mark II spaceship.

He spent a week at the Kennedy Space Academy in Florida where he skydived and undertook air combat and G-force training.

He had been originally scheduled to fly in 2015 but no firm plans for his trip had been made public at the time of his death.

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