Mark Shuttleworth

Launch date: April, 2002

Time in space: 8 days

Mark Shuttleworth wanted to be the first African to fly in space. An Internet entrepreneur, Shuttleworth turned to Space Adventures to realize his dream. Dedicating his flight to educating South African youth and conducting scientific research, Shuttleworth returned from space a national hero. He now shares his experience and the excitement it generates with students across Africa, inspiring the next generation of explorers.

Mark conducted several experiments during his 10-day space flight. One experiment was the very first in the world to assess the impact of zero-gravity on the development of stem cells and embryos. Another was to determine the effect of microgravity on the cardiovascular system and muscles. A third was an attempt to crystallise HIV proteins in weightlessness in the hopes that, when X-rayed, they will give an accurate view of the virus structure. These experiments are being managed by world-class South African scientists from the Universities of Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Port Elizabeth, in collaboration with Russian space-science experts. More at

“An experience like that changes your perspective
on life and on the world.…”

— Mark Shuttleworth