the first african in space
the crew



Ravi Naidoo
Interactive Africa
Managing Director
Cell: +27 82 990 0561
Andrew High
Tel: +27 21 970 1010
Cell: +27 82 873 1307




The first African citizen to fly to space will launch in April 2002. Mark Shuttleworth, a South African entrepreneur, will stake Africa's claim to the 21st Century in space by joining a multinational crew of astronauts and cosmonauts in a joint program of science and media activities on the International Space Station (ISS).

"I have always dreamed of space as a platform for inspiration, education and technology, and am working to realize that dream for South Africa," Shuttleworth says.

He is currently undergoing training as a cosmonaut at Star City, outside Moscow, and will be a fully certified member of the Soyuz crew, responsible for some Soyuz systems during the flight. Shuttleworth will conduct several scientific experiments while in space, in collaboration with South African and Russian researchers, as well as participating in a national media campaign focusing on the global digital divide and the importance of mathematics and science education.

This initiative will provide a major boost to the South African National Education Strategy for Science and Mathematics and its efforts to attract South African students to high technology careers. It will provide an opportunity for South African scientists to conduct scientific experiments in the unique environment of weightlessness and microgravity. It will also focus national attention on South Africa's budding space technology research program at the Houwteq Institute for Space and Software Applications and other local institutions. But most importantly, it will reach out to people of all ages across the African continent and challenge them to reach for their own dreams.

"I believe that Africa will emerge as a vibrant and successful global economic power this century, and I hope that our first foray into space helps people across the continent imagine ways in which they can participate in that success. We must address the complex issues that face the continent, many of which are rooted in the past, but we must also never lose sight of the future that we are building" said Shuttleworth.

"This is the realization of a personal dream, a dream that started at the tip of Africa. I hope it will inspire many of my fellow Africans, of all ages, to believe in the power of their dreams."


Attached please find an executive summary of this historic event, summaries of the experiments and descriptions of their significance to South Africa.

A videoconference date for the official launch is being secured and we will forward you all details pertaining to this as soon as this is finalised.

Landing Countdown to 05:51 05 May

Landing Complete!

The Team
Mark Shuttleworth
Dale Cupido
Karen Sharwood
Lara Keytel
Danie Barry
Freddy Khan
Vaughan Oosthuizen
Ravi Naidoo
Vuyo Dwane
Richard Mills
Nicolette Cronje
Wayne Derman
Peter Ribton
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