the first african in space
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Dearest MARK

I tried to send you this message while you were still in space but I only received the report that it was not sent, what a jealousy of my network.

It took an African man to take a brave step of making us all proud.

Welcome back Mark!
Manthleng Seoloane.

Strength within us

The strength within us come out when one of us is let loose to do what often seems impossible. Freedom is about the small and the big things that we do for us, for others and with others. Because of individuals like you, our country stands proud as a player in the latest development in the life of mankind. For that, in our hearts you will always mean more than you could ever imagine.

May God Be With You !
Mandla Manqele

A Poem

There was a man he had a dream to go into space He baught a roket a nice one to with lots of frills and lace. Everyone thought that he was mad and that he would never dear do it But he left the earth at half past four and he was'nt scared a bit. He blasted of into the air and in and out of clouds when he looked back down towards the earth he saw people standing in crouds and he heard them say to his dismay what a crazy fellow.

By Rebecca Walton


The wonderful World

Mark Shuttleworth is a famous man with all his gewls and woes'
he lived in a rocket filled with pockets and never opened the door.
When he was out.
He was out and about on his last day on Earth wondering what space was like.
He pulled out a chocolate and gobbled it up for it was his last Earth food.

He was now on for take off up up into the sky'he was talking to mr President on a telephone wire.
That Mark man is crazy everyone roaded to get his rocket out of this world!!!!!!!

By Nicole Craddock from Greenfield School

The best letter ever

Hello Mark Shuttle - Worth, this is Dorian van Raalte. I come from Seaforth College where I am a founder student. I believe our headmaster used to be your teacher. I would like you to come to come to our new indepenent school we started in Ballito and talk about how it was in the space station. I am eight years old . My headmaster's name is Andy Wood. Do you recognise his name? I would also like to go to space one day and do a good job like you. I hope you write a book. Do you have a son?

I hope you accept my invitation to visit our school and you can stay at our farm. Do you like paddling because you can come down the Zinkwazi river with us.

From Dorian of Wetherley Sugar Estate


The wonderful World

Mark Shuttleworth is a famous man with all his gewls and woes'
he lived in a rocket filled with pockets and never opened the door.
When he was out.
He was out and about on his last day on Earth wondering what space was like.
He pulled out a chocolate and gobbled it up for it was his last Earth food.

He was now on for take off up up into the sky'he was talking to mr President on a telephone wire.
That Mark man is crazy everyone roaded to get his rocket out of this world!!!!!!!

By Nicole Craddock from Greenfield School

The best letter ever

Hello Mark Shuttle - Worth, this is Dorian van Raalte. I come from Seaforth College where I am a founder student. I believe our headmaster used to be your teacher. I would like you to come to come to our new indepenent school we started in Ballito and talk about how it was in the space station. I am eight years old . My headmaster's name is Andy Wood. Do you recognise his name? I would also like to go to space one day and do a good job like you. I hope you write a book. Do you have a son?

I hope you accept my invitation to visit our school and you can stay at our farm. Do you like paddling because you can come down the Zinkwazi river with us.

From Dorian of Wetherley Sugar Estate

A poem

There was a man who was going to space.
It was his lucky day and he was very happy.
He went to the station into the rocket and blasted off.
The man left the city the country then the earth.
Of corse the man must not be home sick or else he will mess everything up.
Message. I hope you enjoyed your journey. From Lindile Greenfield Western Cape School

Welcome home!

I think both your parents deserve medals for enduring what must have been a very stressful 10 days - firstly watching you soar into the unknown and then having to worry about your safety on the way down!

Well done to you for making South Africans beam with pride over the last 10 days. I've followed your website since reading about you in December while visiting my family in Cape Town - you and the team of the First African in Space project have done a great job in making us all feel a part of your mission in space.

Lesley Wright, Hong Kong

Welcome home !!

I have followed your journey every step of the way, reading every article from various sources, watching Carte Blanche and DSTV. Thank you for sharing your experience and your dream with the whole of South Africa, and thank you for being such an inspiration.

I look forward to hearing more about your experience up in Space. Best Wishes.


Best Wishes

Hi Mark

You are a great inspiration to all in South Africa,In the future kids my age will be learning about you for years to come.

May you return safely.

Kevin JHB

Well done

To Mark and his whole team. Congratulations on a job well done. First you took on the Americans at their own game and came out on top and now this!! It is about time something exciting comes out of Africa.

Wel gedaan aan julle almal

Association of Small Payload Researchers

Dear Mr. Shuttleworth,

On behalf of the Association of Small Payload Researchers (ASPR) I would like to thank you for your inspirational project. We have had the pleasure of speaking and corresponding with members of your science team. Our organization is currently constructing a scanning probe microscope to be placed aboard the space station.

Your efforts serve as proof that people can come together to achieve the dream of spaceflight. It has fueled our spirits as we embark on the final design stages of our payload. We hope to ask your team numerous questions after the mission with the aim of providing a significant follow up to your experiments.

Amongst our research community we salute you as the world's first Educational Commercial Cosmonaut ECC. Our association plans to review your flight and honor your accomplishments at our next meeting this Summer.

Good luck and Godspeed Mark Shuttleworth.


Rolando M. Branly

Assistant Professor (Broward Community College)
Director (Association of Small Payload Researchers)
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
United States of America

I waved to you

Dear Mark

I am completely in awe of what you are doing, and the way you are doing it. You have inspired the youth of South Africa and all of us with such a sense of optimism by your joyful, reach for your dreams .....but work hard for it..... attitude.

On Wednesday evening I went to Rondebosch Common, and saw the beautiful ISS spinning by - I waved to you ........and felt a deep spiritual connection with all of humankind. Thank you!

Love Margie

Believing in a dream


Not too sure where I start, but here goes.

On Friday night (26/4) I sat on my balcony, with a glass of wine in my hand gazing at the moon, there was a reddish haze surrounding it, and it looked sad (rather odd to say, I know!) but to say it was breathtaking would be putting it mildly.

Then I thought of you, wondering just what view you had, did it still have that red haze, did it look just as sad!, exactly what could you see, what were you feeling. To be honest I was jealous as I sat there living my mundane life, but in the same instance it gave me a feeling that everything was possible, if I just unleash my dreams.

Amazingly enough as you get older your dreams are pushed to the back of your mind as you chase that elusive thing called wealth. So you get a job and start "running with the lemmings", as in a society such as ours we want to prove something make people aware that what we do is important, we are important!. So we want jobs which a bigger and better to show those people, but all the while we are loosing sight of our dreams, and in essence what made us the people that we are today.

We dared to dream as a child, yet as we enter adulthood we tend to push those dreams to the back of our mind. So this e-mail is just to say thank you for showing me that a person must live for there dreams in the hopes of one day finally achieving them.

It may seem like such a small thing to you, but I am sure you have re-awakened many a person's dreams of reaching for the stars.

Thanx Ashleigh

Bephu the Space Bear

Hi guys,

Just a short note on a little fella who has been waiting at the ISS for some two months now! Thanks to Mark's generosity, Dale Cupido's tenacity, Deputy President Jacob Zuma's 'Space Diplomacy' and the spirit of children everywhere on Planet Earth, Bephu the Bear will spread his message of hope for all his little friends below who have no parents anymore because of HIV/AIDS.

Bephu almost didn't make it into Space because the Russian Space Agency authorities felt his little sequinned jacket was too dangerous, as loose sequins could be ingested by the cosmonauts or get into equipment. Thanks to Dale he had someone unstitch the hundreds of little sequins and Bephu was able to fulfill his mission.

His salute when Mark meets up with him is as South African as pap and wors ... SAWUBONA! See you tomorrow Mark


Hi Mark

Hi Mark
What is it like in space and what experiments are you doing? We all want to know which house you were in. I wish it was stansbury. The launch was very exciting to watch but your mother looked very worried. I hope you bring the capsule to our school.

Alyd Davies

Space experiment for women

Dear Mark,

Just wondering..............does weightlessness do anything for (gravity induced) wrinkles and sagging bums? If so, is there room on the next trip for some middle aged girls!?! Book our spot!

Seriously though we admire your courage and endeavour - a flag-bearer of note for South Africa! Well done!

Best Wishes,

South African Women's Association
Hong Kong

Grey Junior salute you!

Dear Mark

You have made us proud to be South Africans! Perhaps one day we'll also be famous - for now, we're going to dream BIG! We're thinking of you and pray you'll return safely to earth to be able to share more of your adventure with us.

Have fun!

With love Jordan, Tristan, Mitchell, Jean, Jonathan, Oliver, Peter, Mabaso, Liam, David Y., Joshua, Teagan, Dylan, Sethu, Giovanni, Ryk, Keagan, Ryan, Jonathan M., Lloyd, Ashton, David B., Chuma, Cuan, Rushil and Mrs Ann Easton.

Grey Junior School, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Viva Mark Viva!

Hi Mark, our very own Afronaut!
We are so proud of you, I had a huge lump in my throat when I watched you guys blasting off. My youngster, Siyabonga (8) has not stopped talking about you and has now decided that he also wants to be an astronaut when he grows up...You're a special guy and I don't think I have felt this proud to be a South African since Madiba was inaugurated or when he handed the World Cup to Francois Pienaar.

Viva Mark! Viva!

God Bless

God bless and have a blast! We know you will have a successful mission and a safe return!

Best wishes from your old school teacher

Dalene Swanson

Taxi driver to the Moon!

From Luderitz Bay, Namibia, come warmest envious greetings from one who before he could spell "astronaut" wanted to be a taxi driver to the Moon. You make it seem no longer impossible - for the next generation. I watched Sputnik over Joburg in 1957 aged 12, and have been longing ever since.

All the best wishes
Hamba gahle, and happy returns.
We salute you!

That lucky B------!

Until a week ago, I didn't even know who Mark Shuttleworth was! I only found out because every time the TV was on I would hear my 14 year old son say "that lucky bastard!" I never hear him swear so I thought this really had to be something and that's how I came to know about the big fuss.

Mark, you are admired by a really special 14 year old boy who happens to have a Learning Disability called Asperger Syndrome, intelligent kid, he averages 96% and yet there are no schools for him in South Africa as he lacks social skills. I do know however that he is clever enough to know who you are and what you are doing up in space and how fortunate you are.

Good luck and God speed
Marlene and Matthew

Good luck from Fish Hoek Primary

Hello Mark

My name is Wayne Hattingh . I am 12 I sent you a email to wish you GOOD LUCK on your trip to space. It sounds unreal. I don't know how you can not be scared to go to space I must be honest I would be too scared to go to space. So when you go to space on the 25th I will wish you the best wishes .

Bye bye

Many thanks to Wayne, Calvin Nicholls, Brandon Howes, Marc Coxon and everyone else who from Fish Hoek Primary School who sent their best wishes to Mark. We will make sure he receives all your letters when he returns from his mission.

Drop in the ocean

Dear Mark

There is a message board on news24 where I posted a small message about the beauty of space. I can think what it says is that it brings you closer to God. It must be awe-inspiring to see the world as one and the darkness and light beyond it. Just imagine if you could hear the thoughts of the world as well. I send blessings for your unique voyage and wish you all of the best on this ground-breaking trip. Maybe there will come a time for pioneers to go to other worlds, if so - I will be there.

Thanks for your inspiration to us all.
Cindy van der Merwe
Cape Town

Best wishes to Mark!

Hi Mark

Can't believe that you're actually DOING IT - congratulations and travel well.

One of the regrets of my life (I'm a 60 year old granny) is that I will be long dead by the time space travel becomes a casual normal every-day type thing. I grew up on SF and wish I could also experience space flight - so do it for all of us who never will!

Love and peace
A M Smith

More Wetpups Wishes

Hello Mark

I am in grade 4 at W.P.P.S. and I really wish I was in your place, flying up in space. I know you were head boy at our school and your name is in big gold letters on our wooden head boy board. I hope you have a successful flight.

Daniel Linegar
Western Province Preparatory School
Cape Town

A big thanks to James Christopher, Geoffrey Toplis, Jonty Arnott, John Perrott and everyone else from W.P.P.S. who wrote to wish Mark luck on his flight. We will make sure that he gets to read each and every one of your letters when he returns!

Letter and Wishes for The Shuttleworth Family

Dear Mark and Family,

The family name says it all. None of us can imagine what you must all be going through in these last couple of days before blast off. I am sure I speak for many when I say best of luck to you all. It is awesome to being watching someone make a dream, which is out of this world, come true. It gives hope and vision to the rest of us.

Mark, you are living proof that there is nothing wrong with dreaming, lets just make sure we all make our dreams come true. Have a wonderful trip, and look forward to reading and hearing your stories and reports, in the Media, in the days to come.

God Bless to you all.
One of your biggest Fans
Chris Thomas

I'll have to stand for second best

Hi Mark

Man, I wanted to be the first African in space! No, really. My dream is to one day go to NASA and become an astronaut. However, I want to go to the moon, so I can still be the first African on the moon...

I got goosebumps when I watched Carte Blanche tonight. You know why? Because whenever I tell someone I want to go to the moon they either laugh or tell me to dream on. There is a handful of people that told me to follow my dream and you have proven to me that dreams CAN come true!

Thanks for making me believe I can do anything I set my mind to. Today, i am proud to say I am African!

Jana de Villiers

The Most Amazing Guy

I know of no greater man alive to inspire all of us. Not just the adventure in space but all he has done and created since leaving college. You are the definition of what being human should be.

Be audacious. Be lucky.
With utmost admiration,

Very proud of you

Hi Mark,

I think that by now you know how proud each & every south African is of you. Wow! The first African in space. I wish I was going up there as well. I have always dreamed of travelling into space. Good luck & God bless. We all know that you will be successful in your experiments & make it known that South Africans can do it!

Shahista Ramanand, Grade 11, Durban

Durbanville Prep's good wishes

Dear Mark

The children of Durbanville Prep are very proud of you and very excited about following your journey into space. We wish you and the rest of the crew God's speed and grace on this amazing adventure.

When you return to Durbanville we would love to meet you and hear what you have to say. Our motto for the year is "Seize the Day" and we believe that you have done just that. You are an inspiration to all youngsters worldwide.

Thank you for allowing us to share in your adventure.
Best wishes
Grade 1's, Grade 2's and Grade 3's of Durbanville Prep School. (and from their teachers too)

Vat hom fluffy!!!

Dear Uncle Mark

We wish you a very successful trip into space! We wish we could be with you as our whole room is done out in astronaut things. Our mommy even painted clouds all over our ceiling last year with the whole galaxy mapped out with glow-in-the-dark stars! We will be watching out for you in the real sky... not our play play sky in our room, otherwise we all will be in big trouble!

Thank you for being so brave so that we have a real African hero in space!
Safe landing.
Stuart and Geoff Roodt (twins aged 5)

Captain courageous on his first mission

Dear Mark

Patriotism and the rememberance of things that is past will carry you on your journey through space. To be a proud South African is an honour and a privilege. By embracing diversity we will find peace.

My wish for you is that your journey is a safe one and everything you expect it to be. We are inspred by your achievements.

Have a good one.
Tracy-Lee, Carlos, Candice and Samantha Neves

Congratulations Mark

Hi Mark,

It is about time an African went to space. I am proud of your huge investment in this trip to space. I am not South African but I happy for you, man. At least South Africa has something to smile about after all the misery in cricket, rugby and soccer :-)

Ambrose Twebaze

Lighting the way

Hello Mark,

I don't think you can have any idea how proud we are of our first astronaut, and I am sure that I speak on behalf of every South African.

I had thought that maybe as a supreme gesture we could organise that one evening when you are up above us here, we could get every electrical power station in the country to flick the switch, as it were, and give you one huge wink! Wouldn't that be terrific?

Come back safely,
Margi in Knysna

Aspiring me to do the same

Howzit! Good luck for the flight. Godspeed!

My name is Stuart Holmes I am a South African studying in England. I am currently studying for my A-levels and after that i plan to study an MENG in Aerospace engineering. Maybe after that who knows maybe an astronaut one day. Mark Shuttleworth has definitly inspired me to strive for more in life.

PS: I use to stay down the road from Mark in Durbanville.

Goooooood luck!!

Hi Mark!

First of all, my name is Vinca (Vingka). I am 11yrs. I love science and my hobbys are swimming, I do it three days a week for an hour, and gymastics two days a week. I wish you luck.

From Vinca.
P.S. You are so so so so so x100,000,000 cool.

Good luck and godspeed

From one space junky to another.

Mark, we wish you all the luck in the world (and outer space).

We know how how you feel. We have also just successfully launched our first very own communications satellite on Tuesday 16th.

Regards from all at Newskies Satellites, Boeing Lockheed Martin and ArianeSpace.

Martin Brasg
General Manager, Africa Region
New Skies Satellites Ltd

Wetpups wishes

Dear Mark,

... especially from the teachers who taught you (Mrs Mac and Mrs P), as well as all the present staff and pupils at WPPS, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

We are incredibly proud of you and your amazing achievements (Mrs Mac is now dictating this to me and she says especially her!). The excitement amongst the boys is tangible and Mrs Mac also says that you can take the credit for major disruption of her lessons as she is constantly faced with a barrage of questions about you. Were you clever? Did you ever get Violet? One question she could not answer was how you got the gap between your teeth as it is not evident in your school photographs!

Mark, our very best wishes follow you.

Glenda Irvine

Bon Voyage

Hi Mark

I am getting really excited for you! You have achieved so much and deserve this wonderful opportunity. I'll be watching you from my lounge and will have the SA flag out. Bon Voyage!

Best wishes


(Johannesburg, South Africa)

Life in space?

Hello Mark

My name is Michael and I am in Grade one at Durban Preparatory School and my sister Sarah is at Joyce Broadhead Pre Primary. We both live in Glenwood Durban with our parents. I am six and Sarah is four. I am doing a speech contest at my school and my speech is on rockets and how people go into space and walk on the moon. I have also told them in my speech that you are the first African, South African to go into space. Hope you have fun in space. Mark, is there any alien/animals/people living in space?

I hope you can come and visit our school when you return.

Lots of love

Michael and Sarah Neary - Durban

Simply put

Well done, firstly to Mark, then to the team I am discovering on the African In Space site.

Your venture is an inspirational one in a world apparently hell-bent on "dumbing-down". It fills me with joy to see a commitment to the sciences equal to the fervor normally reserved for sport and flavour-of-the-day pop stars.

May you all realise success beyond your already ambitious dreams. We should all aspire to convert our achievements into greater things, as Mark is so clearly doing.

Thank you all,
Hilton Hawkes
Video Editor
ICON Post Production

Nerds unite!

The Nerds and Nerdettes of the Contractors and Consultants Special Interest Group of the Computer Society of South Africa (CCSIG of CSSA) would like to wish Mark a safe and (moerse) speedy journey back home.

We would also like to express our envy at the prospect of Mark not just going into Space but using cool gadgets and looking like Bruce Willis (and being just as loaded) at the same time - jeez - how many babes *do* you want to attract?(Imagine sitting at a bar (in Welkom, nogal) and a guy walks up to you - Hi! I'm Mark , young, dashing, intelligent, a billionaire, all-round philanthropist and an Astronaut. Ja right, Boet, and I'm Cindy Crawford).

Seriously, all the best. We will be following the mission and hoping for a safe return as well as success with the experiments and tests.

Good Luck.
Nadine Grönum
Chairman of CCSIG

From the country of Iain M Banks

Just a wee quick note to say the best of luck to Mark and his great adventure.

I met him some years ago on a science forum in London (twice) called LIYSF - a fab time was had by all it came as little suprise to hear of his success and ambition. We even get good media coverage here!!

Soft landings and happy views
Ewan Jack

High praise

Thanks for all the news on Mark Shuttleworth. He is a modern-day hero and I really enjoy the website. We need this sort of positive thinking and action in the world of today.

Many many thanks.
Cheryl McCrindle

Original fan

Greetings Mark

I have been following your mission very closely over the past few months, and still can not believe that we will soon be having an African, but more importantly a South African finally in space. Well done, on living your dream, and making South Africa so proud!

I was one of the first to hear of your intended mission. I was filming a news item on Madiba last year, when he decided to announce to students, that you were going to be the second space tourist. I could hear in his voice, the great respect and joy he has for you, in achieving this for our country. You are truly a great ambassador to our great nation. I wish you all the best, may God's blessing be with you, as you embark on this life-changing adventure.

God speed my friend,
Hakuna matata

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Landing Countdown to 05:51 05 May

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