Panafrican News Agency

South African students send Mandela photograph into space

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – A group of University of Cape Town students have sent a framed photograph of former President Nelson Mandela to the edge of the earth’s atmosphere.

The initiative is part of a film production they are making about the world statesman who died in 2013. The 100th anniversary of his birth was commemorated around the world last year.

Zimbabwean-born filmmaker Munashe Makado is directing the film and he came up with the idea. Others involved in the project are executive producer Ashley Ellis and supporting crew Mayuyuka Kaunda, Kelly Kotik, Mcebisi Sidlai and Clemence Padya.

The team used a weather helium balloon, a virtual reality camera, Mandela's picture and a GPS device to track the “satellite”.

It was launched in the town of Ceres outside Cape Town and reached an altitude of 80,000 feet and was recovered earlier this month on a farm in the area.

“I intend to use the film as a vehicle to communicate the magnitude of Nelson Mandela's legacy and sacrifices to future generations. I also want to inspire African leaders, that they too can be celebrated,” Makado said.

The film is expected to be completed in February and will have screenings in Cape Town, Johannesburg and at the Berlinale film festival in Berlin.

A year ago, South African-born billionaire Elon Musk Elon fired a Tesla vehicle into space on one of his rockets and it has now travelled past Mars’s orbit. The vehicle is set to orbit the Sun once every 557 days and is likely to float through space for tens of millions of years unless it collides with a meteorite or planet.

Musk who is the co-founder of Tesla has a net worth of US$23 billion and is listed by Forbes as the 54th-richest person in the world.
-0- PANA CU/AR 29Jan2018