SA 'Axe-tronauts' to head to the US

2013-08-19 14:05
This is a model of the space ship that will transport the astronauts to low Earth orbit. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

This is a model of the space ship that will transport the astronauts to low Earth orbit. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Space XC ship

2013-06-07 09:14

The Space XC ship that will take Axe competition winners to space is illustrated in this YouTube video.WATCH

Johannesburg - Unilever has announced the names of the South African finalists, one of which is guaranteed a place on a trip to space.

The final three South Africans who will head to the US are Mandla Maskeko, Haroon Osman and Dean Roddan as part of the company's Axe brand activation.

At the Axe Apollo Space Academy in Orlando, the candidates, dubbed "Axe-tronauts" will be tested for space fitness with a variety of high G-force activities.

Space Expedition Corporation will conduct low Earth orbits in 2014 using the Lynx space craft developed by XCOR.

The vehicle will take off much like a regular aeroplane, but it is equipped with four rocket engines that propel the craft to Mach 3 in around three minutes.

At 60km up, the pilot will cut the engines to allow the craft to reach its maximum height of 103km. The occupants will see the curvature of the Earth and experience weightlessness for a few minutes.

Once the ship begins its glide back to the surface, the passengers will experience 4.5G for around 15 seconds when the pilot does a pull up manoeuvre to slow the Lynx down before landing.

Maskeko (24) hails from Benoni and lists Nelson Mandela as his hero, while adventure junkie Osman (37) is a fan of local DJ, Roger Goode. Flight simulation maintenance engineer Roddan (41) said he didn't initially take the call to Space Camp seriously.

The three South Africans will head to Florida in the US for a series of exercises where they will be joined by entrants from 75 countries.

Eventually, 22 will be chosen to make the trip to space.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
Read more on:    unilever  |  space

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.