Soyuz 4 Taxi Flight Crew
Space flight participant from South Africa
Data: Mark was born on 18 September 1973 in mining town Welkom,
in South Africa's Free State province. His parents, Rick and Ronelle
later moved to Cape Town, where Mark grew up. They still live in
the northern suburbs of Cape Town, where Rick works as a surgeon.
Mark has a deep interest in Information Technology and the Internet
and spends much of his time browsing the 'Net and playing games.
He has always had an interest space and science fiction.
Mark attended Bishops High School in Cape Town, graduating in 1991.
He received a Bachelors degree in Business Science in 1996 from
the University of Cape Town.
Mark began his own business, Thawte Consulting, in 1996, consulting
to a number of businesses in Cape Town. The company later narrowed
its focus on Internet security issues. Thawte was the first company
to produce a full security web server using Public Key Infrastructure
that was available globally. By the time that VeriSign bought Thawte
in 2000, his company was the leading Certification Authority outside
of the USA.
Interests: Mark is sole investor and director of a venture capital
firm (HBD Venture Capital) in South Africa. He also founded a non-profit
foundation (The Shuttleworth Foundation) that focuses on supporting
innovation in South African education. He also serves on the board
of bridges.org, an organisation seeking to address issues relating
to the 'digital divide.' Mark has also been involved in the establishment
of the Cape Information Technology Initiative (CITI).