Filipino making history in Space
The Philippines has now its very first astronaut Daniel Angelo “Chino” Roque, a marketer and crossfit trainer.
The 22-year-old psychology graduate from De La Salle University was chosen by the chairman of the Axe Apollo Space Academy Camp judging committee Buzz Aldrin at the awarding ceremonies in the KennedySpaceCenter in Orlando, Florida. Aldrin, a legendary spaceman, is also the second man to walk on the moon.
Roque will be joining 22 other winners to board a Space Expedition Corporation shuttle in 2015. The aspirants were screened based on their strength, stamina, mental grit and overall ability to cope with a zero gravity environment.
Roque bested two other aspiring Filipino astronauts Evan Ray Datuin and Ramil Santos to become the Philippines’ representative in the contest. Aldrin chose Roque after he showed impressive performance in the Air Combat Training, G Force Training and Assault course.
Roque was not originally part of the final three who flew to Florida for a five-day training to acquire the skills of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronauts. He joined the Filipino delegation as a replacement to Mario Mendoza Jr. Mendoza, an Air Force Lieutenant, withdrew from the competition to serve his military duties as a pilot-in-training in the Philippine Air Force.
Roque said he sees the chance to go to space as an opportunity “to inspire other Filipinos.”
A total of 28,000 aspiring Filipino astronauts joined Axe Apollo’s contest to win a free trip to space.