An 18-year-old student at Aberdeen University, Anastatia Mayers will launch into space with her mother Keisha Schahaff after winning a prize draw to board Virgin Galactic’s second commercial mission.
The duo will be the first mother and daughter to travel to space together. The mother-daughter team hails from the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda. The pair is expected to depart from New Mexico this Thursday. In what has been hailed as a historic event, the two will be the first Carribeans to travel to space.
The 46-year-old mother won two seats to space while on a flight to the UK for her daughter’s visa to be arranged. Ms. Keisha said that an advertisement suddenly appeared while she was traveling on a Virgin Atlantic trip from Antigua to London and she decided to participate in the draw to win a trip to space. Virgin Galactic was founded by British entrepreneur and commercial astronaut, Richard Branson.
I filled out this sweepstake and then suddenly months later I’m getting correspondences saying that you’re a top 20 finalist, then a top five finalist, to becoming a winner. Suddenly, who’s walking into my yard? Richard Branson. The whole team just swarmed into my house saying ‘you’re the winner, you’re going to space.Keisha Schahaff said.
My mom read about the competition back in 2021 while we were on our way to another Caribbean Island to get my visa to study at the University of Aberdeen. We had to take an insane detour. So instead of a one-hour flight, it was 16 hours through London and then back down into the Caribbean.Ms. Mayers told the press.
Mayers and her mother believe that this spaceflight will break many barriers.
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On Thursday, the two are expected to board the VSS Unity, which will launch from a launch pad in New Mexico at 8 a.m. and go into space for 90 minutes as part of the Galactic 02. Former 80-year-old British Olympic canoeist Jon Goodwin, who has Parkinson’s illness, will also be traveling with Schahaff and Mayers.