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Mother and daughter duo to be the first to travel to space together: 'More than a dream come true'

Anastatia Mayers and her mom Keisha Schahaff won a place on Virgin Galactic's second commercial flight in a prize draw.

Mother and daughter duo to be the first to travel to space together: 'More than a dream come true'
Cover Image Source: Virgin Galactic

Anastatia Mayers and her mother Keisha Schahaff will become the first mother-daughter duo to go to space. The 18-year-old Aberdeen University student and her mom will be on the Virgin Galactic 02 flight which is scheduled to take off on August 10, 2023, from New Mexico. The duo was selected for a place on Richard Branson's exploration company, Virgin Galactic's, second commercial flight after winning a prize draw. Not only are they the first mother-daughter duo to make the trip but they will also be the first people from the Caribbean to do so. 


 
 
 
 
 
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"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," Schahaff was quoted as saying by BBC. "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.'"


 
 
 
 
 
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Her daughter is currently studying philosophy and physics at the University of Aberdeen. She believes it was her decision to study in Scotland that led to the opportunity to go to space. "Had I not randomly chosen Aberdeen University and had we not had to take a massive detour to get my visa - we wouldn't be going to space," Mayers said. "I feel like a lot of things had to happen at very specific moments for us to end up here."


 
 
 
 
 
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Schahaff cannot imagine making the journey with anyone else.  "For me and my daughter together, it's more than a dream come true. This is my kid, I love her with all my heart, and to know that we both share the same goal, the same dream, that is super over the moon."

The advertised price for a ride on the Virgin Galactic 02 flight has been as high as $450,000. It is the second commercial spaceflight conducted by the American space company, and the first with paying customers onboard. The first flight took off in June and reached an altitude of about 85 kilometers. 


 
 
 
 
 
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A number of firsts will take place with the upcoming flight. Mayers be the second youngest person to go to space. "I do hope that people are watching and supporting. My intention is to just break any barriers that we set for ourselves or that the world sets for us. I want people to know that it doesn't matter where you come from, who you are - anything - your dream is your dream and you can make that happen, despite what anyone else says," she shared.


 
 
 
 
 
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Also onboard will be 80-year-old Jon Goodwin, a former Olympic canoeist. He will also become the second person to go to space with Parkinson's disease as well as the first Olympian. 

According to The Independent, the 90-minute trip will raise funds for Space for Humanity, a non-profit group that seeks to send ordinary citizens into space to give them a “grander perspective” on the difficulties facing Earth.



 

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