Cristina De Middel "The Afronauts"

In 1964 a Zambian science teacher named Edwuard Makuka decided to train the first African crew to travel to the moon. His plan was to use an aluminium rocket to put a woman, two cats and a missionary into Space. First the moon, then Mars, using a catapult system. He founded the Zambia National Academy of Science, Space Research and Astronomical Research to start training his Afronauts in his headquarters located only 20 miles from Lusaka.

Unfortunately his resources were not as big as his dream and, after Unesco had declined to support the project, the training and the dreaming had to stop.

This episode of African History is hard to track back as not much attention was payed on the story at the time. I could only find a few documents, a press article written by Edward Makuka himself on the Lusaka Times, and a short interview for the Brittish TV made with the clear intention of ridiculing the aspirations of a newly independent country.

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