Unilever is going into space for its new Axe brand activation, and a South African will be part of this ‘spaced out’ activation.
Activation in 2014
An activation with a difference! Unilever is making use of the Space Expedition Corporation in the United States for an Axe activation in 2014. The latter will conduct low Earth orbits using the Lynx space craft developed by XCOR, and the three South African finalists, one of which is guaranteed a place on a trip to space, have been named.
South African ‘Axe-tronauts’
The ‘Axe-tronauts’, as they have been dubbed, are Mandla Maskeko, Haroon Osman and Dean Roddan. The candidates will be tested for space fitness with a variety of high G-force activities at the Axe Apollo Space Academy in Orlando.
The vehicle will take off much like a regular aeroplane, but it is equipped with four rocket engines that propel the craft to Mach 3 in around three minutes.
At 60km up, the pilot will cut the engines to allow the craft to reach its maximum height of 103km. The occupants will see the curvature of the Earth and experience weightlessness for a few minutes.
Once the ship begins its glide back to the surface, the passengers will experience 4.5G for around 15 seconds when the pilot does a pull up manoeuvre to slow the Lynx down before landing.
The three South Africans will be joined by entrants from 75 countries but only 22 will be chosen to make the trip to space.