A mother-daughter pair of astronauts will travel into space as part of the Virgin Galactic crew. second commercial space flightGalactic 02, which will also feature a female-dominated team.
Keisha Schahaff, 46, and Anastatia Mayers, 18, are among six astronauts to launch into suborbital space on August 10, marking the company’s first private astronaut mission and the first time in history that a mother and daughter couple have traveled into space together. .
The move comes after Wally Funk became the oldest person to fly into space at the age of 82, in 2021. He made the mission 60 years after first passing his astronaut tests, at a time when that a congressional hearing decided that women could not qualify to become astronauts.
Schahaff and Mayers, both citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, will also become the first Caribbean astronauts to fly into space, an achievement Schahaff said it proves that “space really is getting more accessible.”
“When I was two years old, looking up at the sky, 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 promotional video.
“I know my experience will change me and I look forward to sharing that energy and inspiring those around me in my role as a life coach, mother, and ambassador for our beautiful planet.”
Schahaff’s daughter, Anastatia, is currently studying philosophy and physics at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and will become the second youngest person to travel to space.
Anastatia and her mother secured their seats on Galactic 02 two years ago. In a draw Created by Virgin Galactic and charity fundraising platform Omaze. All funds raised were donated to Space for Humanity, the Colorado-based nonprofit organization that works to expand access to space for purpose-driven leaders of diverse backgrounds.
Rachel Lyons, Executive Director of space for humanity he said that seeing the planet from the point of view of space “…gives the astronauts the overall effect that transcends borders and unites humanity.”
“It is this transformative perspective that holds one of the keys to addressing our world’s most pressing challenges,” she said.
Lyons commented that his NGO has a single mission: “Give as many people as possible access to this life-changing point of view, not only to improve the future of our civilization, but also to address the urgent need of our world.” current”.
“This deep awareness underscores our collective responsibility to treat one another with greater kindness and to safeguard and cherish our home planet,” he said in a statement.
Eighty-year-old former British Olympian Jon Goodwin will also join the six-person crew, making him the first Olympian to travel to space.
The Galactic 02 crew will be led by Chief Astronaut Instructor Beth Moses. Moses will conduct all training and mission readiness, as well as assess flight experience to refine Virgin Galactic’s training program.
Michael Colglazier, Virgin Galactic’s chief executive, said the mission highlights the company’s aspirations to increase access to space and inspire people around the world.
“Each of these astronauts are role models and beacons of inspiration in their communities,” he said in a statement. “Looking [the astronauts] embarking on this transformative experience helps demonstrate that space is now opening up to a broader and more diverse population around the world.”
The Galactic 02 flight will be broadcast live on virgingalactic.com.