Beyond Boundaries: Mother and Daughter's Quest to Redefine History

5 min read

A mother and daughter from the Caribbean are about to make history after winning Virgin Galactic's contest to fly to space.In an astonishing tale of luck and ambition, 18-year-old Keisha currently studying at Aberdeen University and her mother are all set to take a mind-blowing journey to space, winning spots on Virgin Galactic's second-ever commercial flight. Anastatia Mayers and her mom, Keisha Schahaff, are making history as the first-ever mother-daughter duo to venture into space.

The incredible journey is set to happen this week from New Mexico, marking a significant step in the world of space tourism. Keisha's encounter with this life-changing opportunity was quite by chance. She was on her way to the UK to sort out her daughter's visa when she spotted an ad during a Virgin Atlantic flight from Antigua to London.

"I entered a contest, and months later, I was shocked to get messages saying I was in the top 20 finalists, then the top 5, and finally the winner," Keisha recalls. The shocking news of her victory came with an unexpected visit from Richard Branson and his team, who knocked on her door to personally announce her journey to space. For Anastatia, this incredible journey started when she decided to study in Scotland after growing up in the Caribbean. "Choosing to study at Aberdeen University and the unexpected visa detour led us to this incredible space adventure," she reflects. As a second-year student studying philosophy and physics, she never imagined it would lead her here.

Virgin Galactic's first-ever space tourism flight, Galactic 01, took place on June 29. It was a scientific research mission flying three crew members from the Italian Air Force and the National Research Council of Italy, per the company. This mission, called "Galactic 02," is Virgin Galactic's second attempt at commercial spaceflight, and this time they're taking paying passengers. Originally, the ticket price was a staggering $450,000 (£350,000), capturing the attention of the world. The first Galactic 01 mission took place in June, reaching a super high 279,000 feet (85 kilometers). The upcoming mission hopes to match that achievement. Virgin Galactic said she won the seats on the flight through a competition aiming to “send more diverse humans to space and change perspectives

Anastatia, being so young and bold, will become the second youngest person to venture into space. Her hope is to inspire others with her unique experience. "This means a lot to me, both in Scotland and Antigua, as well as wherever I have connections," she explains. Her goal is to shatter limits and prove that our dreams are within our reach, no matter where we come from.

"I'm determined to show that where we're from and who we are don't stop us from reaching our dreams. We can make our dreams real, no matter what others say," Anastatia passionately declares. Keisha stands right beside her daughter, sharing, "This shared dream coming true is more than just an achievement. It's beyond words to see our dream become a reality."

Joining this remarkable pair is Jon Goodwin from Newcastle, a former Team GB Olympian. He's not only the first Olympian in space but also the second person with Parkinson's to make this journey. Their voyage promises to inspire humanity, urging everyone to chase their dreams and break the mould.

As Anastatia and Keisha prepare for this historical expedition, they serve as a powerful reminder that dreams – regardless of their origin – have the potential to rise above gravity's pull and venture into the boundless universe.  Their story underscores the incredible possibilities that emerge when determination meets opportunity, inspiring countless others to reach for the stars.

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