An Antiguan woman and her daughter will be flying into the Earth’s orbit having won two tickets worth $450,000 each from space tourism company Virgin Galactic.
Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson surprised Keisha Schahaff, a health and energy coach, with the news at her home in Antigua a month ago and Schahaff decided that she will share the once in a lifetime opportunity with her 17-year-old daughter, a science student living in Britain who dreams of one day working for NASA.
In a social media post, an excited Schahaff wrote that she is “ready for the biggest adventure of her life”.
Schahaff won the prize after entering a fundraiser lottery with a $10 ticket organised by Virgin Galactic on the Omaze platform, which raised $1.7 million. The money will be donated to the NGO Space for Humanity, which works for wider access to space.
Schahaff will be among the first of Virgin Galactic’s space tourists, but her place in the line has yet to be determined. It could take several years.
Virgin Galactic has already pre-sold over 700 space tickets: 600 between 2005 and 2014, and another 100 since August, when they were relisted for a price of $450,000. The first flights will be at the end of next year.