Monday, 14 October 2013

Day Spent at AXE Apollo South African Space Camp




























































This was a cold, dusty and windy day. It was the eve of my birthday, in my head I pretended it was by big elaborate party thrown to me, complements of one of the giants firms in the world –Unilever. I soaked all of it as I knew the following day was my birthday and I was going to spend it burying a family member. Something, I tried not to perceive as depressing because burial and birthday in one day is kinda not fetch; either way they a both celebration of life – the grand departure and cheerful arrival.

In any case I the day spent at the AXE Apollo South African Space Camp in Parys just 2hours or less out of Johannesburg. A fun day filled with extreme activities, where 30 astronauts-in-training were competing for one of three coveted spots at the AXE Apollo International Space Camp in Florida. 

In attendance were Space Expedition Corporation SXC_001 guests; Harry van Hulten and Marlous Mens. During the media briefing I had two questions one that I addressed to Harry. I wanted to find out from him what the difference was between his businesses offering as opposed to what Virgin Galactic by Richard Branson was offering. To which he explained that he had an advantage in terms of space technical structure. He then went on to add that he welcomed competition as it is good and great for growth in the highly specialised industry and for overall improvement. 

The other question was to Vincent Viviers- Axe Brand Manager South Africa. I asked him what the objective of the campaign was over and above sending what would be the second South African citizen to space. Something that is huge and by no means cannot be discredited with a dismissive ‘what is the point’. Obviously that on itself will generate great PR and free advertising millage for AXE and hopefully all that will translate in to sales. What I really wanted to know was; so someone gets sent to space and then what?

To which he responded; “It is an AXE effect, it is cool to go to space” – clever, snappy answer that does not allow one to dig deeper without sounding like you trying to put someone on blast because let us face it; it is is kinda cool to go to space especially when you come back alive to tell the tale to nations!

The astronauts-in-training who walked away heroes of the day were: Haroon Osman , Dean Roddan, Mandla Maseko. They all stand an equal chance of being the ultimate winner of the grand prize - a return ticket to space. For now we all wait with baited breath.