First-Ever Mom and Daughter Pair Go to Space Together


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What's your go-to mother-daughter bonding activity? Shopping, a beach day, a hike, or brunch are typical examples of quality family time. Some might take it to the next level with a cute photoshoot or a trip abroad. However, one mother-daughter pair is boldly going where no other has gone before: space. After winning a trip on Virgin Galactic‘s Galactic 02 flight, Anastatia Mayers—an 18-year-old student at the University of Aberdeen—took her mother Keisha Schahaff on an adventure the two will never forget, breaking some boundaries in the process.

The teen from Antigua chose to study at the Scottish University far from home, but this decision ended up with surprising perks. While flying Virgin Atlantic from Antigua to London, she noticed an advert for a free spot on a Virgin Galactic flight. “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,” she told the 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'.”

Trips on the flight, the first of which carried researchers and occurred in June of 2023, were for sale commercially, reaching expensive prices such as $450,000 (£350,000). But the experience might be even more precious than money for the mum and her daughter. Anastatia became the second youngest person in space on August 10, 2023, when she and her mother were launched into suborbital space at a height of about 279,000 feet (almost 53 miles). They are also the first mother-daughter duo to reach these heights. Keisha told the 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.”

Aboard the same flight was also British Olympian Jon Goodwin, now the first Olympian to enter space. Videos from the journey show the passengers floating in low gravity and gazing down at the Earth from a great height. Anastasia joined them in looking at Earth while wearing the flags of Scotland and Antigua on her arm. Even after the passengers returned to Earth an hour later, the memory of this trip will surely last forever for Anastasia and her mother. Certainly, it is likely to give the philosophy and physics major a new, unique perspective on her studies.

A mother-daughter duo made history as the first such pair in space when they were launched into suborbital space on Virgin Galactica's flight.


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Learn more about passengers Anastatia Mayers and Keisha Schahaff in these videos:

You can also watch Virgin Galactic's Galactic o2 flight:

Virgin Galactic: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube
h/t: [BBC]

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Madeleine Muzdakis

Madeleine Muzdakis is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and a historian of early modern Britain & the Atlantic world. She holds a BA in History and Mathematics from Brown University and an MA in European & Russian Studies from Yale University. Madeleine has worked in archives and museums for years with a particular focus on photography and arts education. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys hiking, film photography, and studying law while cuddling with her cat Georgia.
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