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Virgin Galactic announces crew for first Private Astronaut Mission

Virgin Galactic announced that the first Private Astronaut Mission, ‘Galactic 02,’ will be crewed by Jon Goodwin, an 80-year-old, Olympian and early Virgin Galactic ticket holder, as well as Keisha Schahaff and Anastatia Mayers, a Caribbean mother-daughter duo who won their seats in a sweepstakes that raised funds for non-profit Space for Humanity.

The three-person crew will board VSS Unity for a 90-minute flight from Spaceport America, New Mexico, with an expected launch date of August 10, 2023.

The ‘Galactic 02’ mission will achieve a number of historical milestones, showcasing the power of each Virgin Galactic spaceflight to help redefine who gets to be an astronaut. VSS Unity will fly:

  • The first astronauts from the Caribbean

  • The first mother-daughter duo in space

  • The first Olympian to go to space

  • The second-youngest person to go to space

  • The second person with Parkinson’s to go to space

Galactic 02 Crew:

  • Jon Goodwin, Astronaut 011: An 80-year-old adventurer and first Olympian to travel to space (Jon competed in the 1972 Munich games). Diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2014, Jon will be only the second person with the condition to travel to space.

  • Keisha Schahaff, Astronaut 012: A 46-year-old mother of two daughters, entrepreneur and health & wellness coach from Antigua and Barbuda. Beneficiary of two spaceflight seats in a historic sweepstakes which raised $1.7M in grants for non-profit Space for Humanity.

  • Anastatia Mayers, Astronaut 013: An 18-year-old student born and raised in Antigua and Barbuda. Student at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland in her second year studying philosophy and physics. Together with Keisha, the two will become the first mother-daughter duo to travel to space together.

  • Beth Moses, Astronaut 002 and Chief Astronaut Instructor: Lead astronaut instructor carrying out training and preparation for ‘Galactic 02;’ Beth will fly with the crew to assess the inflight experience while continuing to refine Virgin Galactic’s training program. Beth was the first woman to fly to space aboard a commercial space vehicle, earning her FAA commercial astronaut wings in 2019. ‘Galactic 02’ marks Beth’s fourth flight to space with Virgin Galactic.

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