When you think about spending time with your mom, I'm sure heading to space doesn't come to your mind! Well, not everyone thinks alike. It’s “mission space” for a mother-daughter duo that made history as the first Antiguans to head to outer space. On August 10th, 2023, they boarded their Virgin Galactic flight at Spaceport America near New Mexico for a successful voyage to the stars.
Mission Space: The Mother-Daughter Duo
Mom, Keisha Schahaff, a 46-year-old health coach, was accompanied by her daughter Anastatia Mayers, who is 18, and a student at Scotland's University of Aberdeen.
Anastatia Mayers goes to University far from home, and while flying Virgin Atlantic from Antigua to London, she noticed an advertisement for a free flight on Virgin Galactic. A light went on!
She filled out the form to enter the competition, and a few months later, she found out she was one of the top 20 finalists. Next came the top five finalists announcement, and then finally, Anastatia was named the winner of a space flight!
Keisha Schahaff told BBC, "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 Space Flight
Keisha and her daughter Anastatia were able to make this memorable and historical moment due to winning a competition in November of 2021. The lucky mom and daughter enjoyed this trip free of charge! (The introductory price for a flight to space by Virgin Galactic starts at $200,000 a person.)
During their flight, they experienced weightlessness as they flew 55 miles above the Earth's surface. Meanwhile, St. Johns Antigua held a large public viewing party for everyone to enjoy their historical moment.
Prime Minister Gaston Browne encouraged young Antiguans and Barbudians to be inspired by the "trail blazing journey" of Schahaff and Mayers.
"Antigua and Barbuda will be forever remembered among the stars," Browne said as he noted there are no limits to what Antiguans and Barbudians can achieve.
The moral of the story: Shoot for the Stars! You just never know when your dreams may come true.
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