The Philippines have selected three Filipino astronaut candidates to represent the country to the Axe Apollo Space Academy next year.
Gem Laforteza, brand manager of Axe Philippines, stated that these three Filipino candidates namely Evan Rey Datuin, 24 year old, from Cavite; Ramil Santos, 29 years old South Korea-based engineer; and Daniel Angelo Roque, 22 years old fitness coach, are now strictly preparing their physiques for the four-day testing and evaluation on December, to be held at Axe Space Camp in Orlando, Florida.
“Through the Axe Apollo Space Academy, we have set to inspire modern-day Filipino heroes to step forward. The title of first Filipino in space will go to the best candidate, someone all Filipinos can look up- figuratively and literally,” Laforteza said.
Datuin, Santos and Roque were chosen from about 28,000 Filipino applicants who have been through a series tests for eight months. They selected 4,000 candidates out of it, and later selected only three. Philippine Air Force Lieutenant Mario Mendoza was one of the selected three but he then volunteered to withdraw from the competition due to his military duties as a pilot-in-training. He was replaced by Daniel Angelo Roque.
They will have to undergo conditions that would simulate the space’s zero-gravity and extreme pressures brought by take-off and re-entry of the spaceship to Earth. Only one, from these three Filipino candidates, will be selected to participate with the other 21 astronauts from a field of 112 from 60 countries.
Unilever Group based in United Kingdom and Space Expedition Corporation (SXC) earlier announced a 22-flight seat purchase on XCOR Aerospace’s Lynx® Mark II private suborbital spacecraft for its spaced-themed AXE Apollo™ campaign.
A terrestrial suborbital flight is when a spacecraft reaches near space at approximately the 100-kilometer atmospheric limit, but never completes an orbital revolution around the Earth. Just like a conventional aircraft, the spacecraft to be used by the AXE Apollo challenge could perform horizontal take-off and landings for the 30-minute flight.