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.