Ten questions for Mandla Maseko

By Drum Digital
26 December 2013

Mandla Maseko is the first black South African going into space after being selected among thousands of hopefuls to attend the Axe Apollo Space Academy and eventually the chance to go to space.

Mandla Maseko is the first black South African going into space  after winning an Axe competition and then being selected among thousands of hopefuls to attend the Axe Apollo Space Academy (AASA) and eventually the chance to go to space.

While at the AXE Apollo Space Academy, Mandla engaged in a series of missions that gave all recruits a taste of the thrills and trials faced by real astronauts. Among the series of training missions, Mandla mastered piloting an Air Combat USA aircraft and braced himself for the strength of blast off in a G-Force Simulator at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

Mandla is among an international team of AASA space travelers.  The AASA. team includes men and women representing countries around the globe, some of whom will make history as the first from their nations to go to space.

How old are you?

I'm 25 years old.

Where are you from?

I was born in SoShanguve, raised in Soshanguve and Mabopane. So I can safely say, I'm a Pretorian to the core.

Have you always had a fascination with Space?

After watching a movie called Apollo13, yes I was fascinated.

What is your favorite music?

All genres....but I love Hip Hop, whether it's local/international.

What CD are you currently listening to at the moment?

Lick Your Speakers by Tbo Touch & Dj Jawz.

What is your favorite movie?

Drumline by Nick Cannon. Reason being the message that it holds. And it goes like..."one band, one sound...when one of us looks or sound bad, we all look or sound bad". It is our duty to make sure that we look out for each other, always.

What is your favorite meal?

Pap, gravy and braai meat, lots of meat.

Your favourite place to hangout/restaurant?

I like to hang out at home and if I had to go out, it'll have to be Zygoz & Black Jeans, they're both in Mabopane.

What are you most looking forward to about being in space?

Looking outside the window and seeing Earth as this small/big round blue & white ball, while we're orbiting and experiencing weightlessness.

Which is your favourite place you have travelled to?

Zanzibar in Tanzania. That place feels like paradise. - Sthembile Gasa

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