Keisha Schahaff and Anastatia Mayers to Become First Mother-Daughter Duo to Travel to Space

Antiguan citizens Keisha Schahaff and her daughter Anastatia Mayers have been named to the crew for Virgin Galactic’s maiden space tourism voyage, making them the first mother and daughter to travel in space together. The journey, dubbed “Galactic 02,” will also be Virgin Galactic’s second commercial spaceflight and seventh overall.


The company said 46-year-old Schahaff and her 18-year-old daughter will be its first Caribbean astronauts in space. “When I was two years old, just looking up to the skies, I thought, ‘How can I get there?’ But, being from the Caribbean, I didn’t see how something like this would be possible,” Schahaff said in a news release. “The fact that I am here, the first to travel to space from Antigua, shows that space really is becoming more accessible.”


The two earned their seats in a prize competition to benefit Space for Humanity, a non-profit organization that aims to send ordinary people into space. Mayers, a second-year undergraduate studying philosophy and physics at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, will also be the second youngest person to journey to space.

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She and her mother will cruise on the VSS Unity with former Olympian Jon Goodwin, who competed in canoeing at the 1972 Munich Games. In addition, the 80-year-old American will be the second person with Parkinson’s disease to reach the edge of space.


On August 10, the flight will take off from Spaceport America in New Mexico, led by expert pilots and commanders. In addition, an astronaut instructor will be on board to evaluate the citizen crew. The journey will last approximately 90 minutes and will reach a speed of 2,600 mph. Those on board will travel to the edge of space, where they will be treated to breathtaking sights.


Only about 700 people have flown to space so far, and there is little diversity among them. Virgin Galactic hopes to change that, beginning with their 800-member Future Astronaut community from over 60 countries.

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