July 21, 2023

Caribbean Mother-Daughter Duo To Make History On Virgin Galactic Spaceflight

Black mother, 46, and her daughter, 18. Mother has short sister locs and a nose ring, she is smiling at the camera. The daughter has braids and several facial piercings. She is also smiling at the camera. The photo has a purple hue.

Virgin Galactic’s spaceflight “Galactic 02” will fly three passengers to space, including the first Caribbean astronauts, mother-daughter duo Keisha Schahaff, 46, and Anastatia Mayers, 18.

Galactic 02

Virgin Galactic is an aerospace and space travel company pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers with its advanced air and space vehicles.

Its seventh spaceflight, and second commercial spaceflight, Galactic 02, will fly three private passengers to space, Jon Goodwin, Keisha Schahaff, and Anastasia Mayers.

Mother-daughter duo Schahaff and Mayers won seats in a draw that raised funds for the non-profit Space for Humanity.

Fewer than 700 people have traveled to space, and there is a lack of diversity among those who have.

Virgin Galactic appears to be on a mission to change that and has already created an 800-strong Future Astronaut community representing more than 60 nations.

“This flight highlights two of Virgin Galactic’s core aspirations – increasing access to space and inspiring people worldwide,” said Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier.

“Each astronaut is a role model and beacon of inspiration in their communities.”

Mother-Daughter Duo

The Mother-Daughter Duo

Schahaff is a 46-year-old mother of two daughters, an entrepreneur, and a health and wellness coach from Antigua and Barbuda. She is passionate about empowering women to live their best lives, along with her daughter Mayers.

“When I was two years old, 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,” said Schahaff in a press release.

“The fact that I am here, the first to travel to space from Antigua, shows that space is becoming more accessible.”

Mayers is an 18-year-old university student born and raised in Antigua and Barbuda. She is a student at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and is in her second year of studying philosophy and physics. 

Historical Milestones

The Galactic 02 will achieve several historical milestones, including the first astronauts from the Caribbean, the first mother-daughter duo to space, and the first Olympian to go to the moon.

Mayers will also be the second youngest person to go to space, and  80-year-old Jon Goodwin will be the second person with Parkinson’s

“When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014, I was determined not to let it stand in the way of living life to the fullest,” Goodwin said in Virgin Galactic’s new release.

In April, NASA astronaut Victor Glover was announced as the first Black man to venture to the Moon.

NASA and The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) announced the four astronauts selected to fly on Artemis II, the first crewed mission in NASA’s ambitious plan to establish a long-term presence on the Moon.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.