Two women and 21 men won tickets to fly into suborbital space aboard the reusable XCOR Aerospace Lynx spacecraft. More than 100 participants from over 60 countries competed for the coveted tickets, under the umbrella of the Space Expedition Corporation and the makers of Axe Apollo body spray.
Buzz Aldrin was the chairman of the judging committee.
Mandla Maseko hard-won ticket means he's going to be the first black African in space. It's a ticket to his future as well, he hopes to "study aeronautical engineering and hopefully qualify as a mission specialist, and then next time, go to the moon to plant the South African flag there."
Built by California-based XCOR Aerospace, the two-seat Lynx "will take humans and payloads on a half-hour suborbital flight to 100 km (330,000 feet) and then return safely to a landing at the takeoff runway."
The Lynx will be towed to the runway, then the pilot will fire up the four rocket engines. The engines will be shut off at 190,000 feet and the climb will continue unpowered until about 300,000 feet. After four minutes of weightlessness, the descent starts, spiraling into landing. Total flight time, about 30 minutes.