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Meet Thomas Mashingaidze, Zimbabwe’s First Astronaut Trainee

Sixteen-year-old Thomas Machingaidze has become the first Zimbabwean to be enrolled for a degree programme at the International Institute of Astronautical Sciences in the United States where he will train as an astronaut.

ZBC news caught up with the enthusiastic Machingaidze at his family home in Borrowdale, Harare where he laid out his journey to stardom.

“My journey began at Advanced Space Academy at the US Space and Rocket Centre. Forging connections with seasoned astronauts along the out team triumphed in Mars Landing simulation and achievement symbolised Commanders Cup, as a first Zimbabwean black and only black person to venture this field of white-dominated great minds,” he said.

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His ingenuity propelled him to be accepted into the International Institute of Astronautical Sciences, becoming the first Zimbabwean to earn this distinction.

He added, “I delved into immersive experiences from donning real-life spacesuits to soaring through the skies in high G/zero- G flights and piloting an X300 plane every endeavour deepened my reverence for the cosmos.”

Driven by collective vision of exploration and discovery, the award-winning Machingaidze has set his sights on becoming a fully-fledged astronaut by 2030, confirming that Zimbabwean youths have what it takes to conquer the world.- ZBC

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