An 18-year-old Aberdeen University student and her mother will become the first mother and daughter duo in space this week. The pair is set to join the Virgin Galactic 02, the second commercial spaceflight part of Richard Branson’s exploration enterprise.
Anastatia Mayers, who is studying physics in Aberdeen, will accompany her mum Keisha Schahaff (46) beyond the clouds and into the stars. They are the also the first people from the Caribbean to make the trip.
They will take off from New Mexico on Thursday.
This journey will make Mayers the second youngest person to go to space! She says she hopes to use the experience to inspire others. “That would be very important to me, both in Scotland and Antigua and anywhere else I have any ties,” she says.
“My intention is to just break any barriers that we set for ourselves or that the world sets for us”.
Space knows no boundaries, and neither should the opportunity to explore it. Before earning her college diploma, Anastatia will fly on #Galactic02 and show how curiosity is the single most important qualification you need to be a part of the next era of space travel.
— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) July 31, 2023
A former Olympian joins the crew
Former Olympian, Jon Goodwin, was also among the crew for Virgin Galactic’s space tourism trip.
Goodwin (80) competed in canoeing at the 1972 Games in Munich. He is also the second person with Parkinson’s disease to reach the edge of space.
Mayers, her mum Keisha, and Goodwin, won their seats in a prize draw to raise funds for Space for Humanity, an NPO that works to send ordinary citizens into space. All with the aim to give them a bigger perspective on the challenges facing the planet.
Sending ordinary people into space
The Galactic 02 mission is the second commercial spaceflight directed by the Virgin Galactic, and the first with paying customers onboard.
The asking price for a ride on the rocket plane has been as steep as $450,000!
The Galactic 01 mission took off in June, reaching an altitude of 85km. The second mission will reportedly attempt the same path.
“Virgin Galactic’s seventh spaceflight and second commercial spaceflight, Galactic 02 will fly three private passengers to space, achieving several historical milestones and furthering Virgin Galactic’s mission of broadening access to space,” the American company said.