In an exciting revelation, Virgin Galactic has announced the three passengers who will be aboard its first private astronaut mission, scheduled for August. This extraordinary venture will mark several historical milestones, including the maiden journey of an Olympian and the first mother-daughter duo to travel to space.
The lucky travelers are entrepreneur and wellness coach Keisha Schahaff, her daughter Anastatia Mayers, and Jon Goodwin, a former Olympian. Schahaff and Mayers secured their spots on this mission through a draw that raised $1.7 million in grants for Space for Humanity, a nonprofit working towards democratizing access to space. The two represent the first individuals from the Caribbean islands to embark on a space journey.
Keisha Schahaff, originally from Antigua, expressed her excitement, stating that her journey underlines the increasing accessibility of space travel. Anastatia Mayers, a determined 18-year-old sophomore studying at the University of Aberdeen, holds an ambitious dream of becoming the second-youngest individual to venture into space.
The third passenger, Jon Goodwin, an 80-year-old former canoeist from the 1972 Munich Games, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2014. He hopes his journey to space will inspire others facing adversity, demonstrating that challenges shouldn’t inhibit one’s pursuit of dreams. Goodwin had been one of the early ticket holders for a trip with Virgin Galactic.
Beth Moses, the company’s chief astronaut instructor, will join the trio. Moses has made three previous trips to space with Virgin Galactic and was the first person to fly to space as a passenger on a commercial vehicle. The company aims to popularize space travel, making it accessible to more individuals.
The forthcoming mission, Galactic 02, is scheduled to start on August 10, and Virgin Galactic will stream the launch live on their website. With the triumphant launch and safe return of Virgin Galactic’s inaugural commercial spaceflight on June 29, the company has boldly ushered in a transformative era of commercial space travel.
This landmark event emphasizes Virgin Galactic’s commitment to opening the frontiers of space to private individuals, combining adventure with the quest for knowledge in one of the most inspiring undertakings of our times.