Maseko, 30, beat one million other contenders to win a trip to space sponsored by the Axe Apollo Space Academy, which had yet to be scheduled by the time of his death.
“Then I went to space camp and I thought, I can actually be an astronaut.”
Maseko was named one of the 23 winners of the contest worldwide in 2014 shortly after the death of South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela.
In 2016 he was honored by the Gauteng Department of Education in South Africa and had a science building at a school named after him, according to the statement.
Details of his memorial service and funeral will be announced later this week, family spokeswoman Sthembile Shabangu said.
Since the announcement of Maseko’s death by his family, South Africans have taken to social media to pay tribute to him using the hashtag #RIPMandlaMaseko.
He spent eight days aboard the international space station in 2002.