This is the Ugandan aircraft that Africa hopes will thrust it right into the space race. Constructed amidst the rubble of his mothers backyard, ambitious Chris NSamba believes the African Skyhawk will lead to his continent launching its first astronaut into orbit. The African Space Research Programme founder has been helped by 600 volunteers in partially achieving the first stage of his dream - the creation of the plane that will penetrate the edge of space by flying at 80,000ft. And once the African Skyhawk has had a successful test flight sometime next year, the 28-year-old plans to turn his hand to building the continents first space shuttle. He firmly believes it will launch in the next 'four to six years. But given the condition of his project at the moment, he might be advised to buy a gigantic rubber band to help it on its way. The former astronomy student said: 'It isnt about money, it isnt about competition or pride. The mission is about advancement in space technology as a continent and what we can contribute towards that growth. We are trying to have Africa participate in the contribution of knowledge into mankinds destiny. The cynical may question how NSamba can launch his own space programme without any money, and be entirely reliant on donations. They may also ask how it can be achieved, seeing as Uganda has no history of space exploration and he is teaching the aspiring astronauts himself. But he said he was confident the Skyhawks test flight would take place next year, and he would have a fully fledged space shuttle in operation in 'four to six years. He added: 'This is not a one-man mission. We work jointly to achieve goals. I have trained my crew (in) advanced astronomy. DM