The lucky winner of the tie, Keisha Schaaf will be the first traveler from the Caribbean islands to float in zero gravity.
By entering a simple lottery, a 44-year-old woman living in Antigua and Barbuda has won a heavenly gift: two space seats on the Virgin Galactic, each worth $450,000.
Thus, Keisha Schaaf will become the first traveler from the Caribbean islands to float in zero gravity, an experience that only 600 people have been able to experience. She decided that she would go there with her 17-year-old daughter, a science student currently living in the UK for her studies, and dreams of working at NASA.
Keisha Schaaf was told the news by Virgin Galactic founder himself, Richard Branson, who visited her home in Antigua and Barbuda in early November to hand over her astronaut’s suit. “I was just thinking of doing an interview on Zoom‘,” he told AFP the lucky winner. “When I saw Richard Branson come I started screaming! I couldn’t believe it.»
Keisha Schaff won this award by participating in a fundraiser organized by Virgin Galactic on the Omaze platform, which raised $1.7 million. The money will be donated to the Space for Humanity organization, which works for broader access to space. The donation amount Keisha Schaaf gave has not been disclosed, but those donations started as low as $10. In a statement, Virgin Galactic said the campaign attracted nearly 165,000 participants in eight weeks.
«When I was young, I was always fascinated by spaceKeisha Schaaf told AFP it was “Always the first to buy ticketsTo go to the movies to watch the latest Star Wars or Star Trek movies. “It’s so cool, it’s like liberation», announced this health coach who works specifically with women. She found herself entering the clouds after seeing an ad on a Virgin Atlantic plane.
«I filled out the form and did what I was asked, without realizing that I might really get an answer“She remembers.”It’s a great opportunity for me to feel alive“A person who still lives today in Antigua, where I grew up, and who hopes, appreciates”Inspiring others to live their dreams too».
Already about 700 tickets sold
The proposed flight offers only a few minutes in zero gravity: a huge carrier plane takes off from a classic runway, and then the ship, looking like a large private plane, drops at an altitude. Then it ignites its engine until its altitude exceeds 80 km, which is the maximum space according to the US military, and then descends during flight. The flights depart from Spaceport America in the New Mexico desert, which Keisha Schaaf can visit with Richard Branson. will be part ofThe first astronautsfrom Virgin Galactic, but it has not been identified on the waiting list, according to a company spokesperson.
The company has already sold about 700 tickets for the space: 600 between 2005 and 2014, priced between $200,000 and $250,000, and then 100 new since August, when it went on sale for $450,000 a unit. The goal is to sell 1,000 in total before the launch of commercial flights, the first of which is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2022, after a period of aircraft improvements currently underway.
Wednesday’s announcement aims to show that space tourism opens up opportunities for a diverse group of people, even though prices are still not available to the vast majority of the population at the moment. “The ability to give people of all ages and backgrounds equitable access to space and, in return, the opportunity to inspire and guide others once on Earth, is what Virgin Galactic has been striving for over the past two years.Briton Richard Branson announced, citing the press release.
On July 11, the same billionaire boarded the SpaceShipTwo spacecraft during a test flight, accompanied by Virgin Galactic employees. The race is on with billionaire Jeff Bezos’ company, Blue Origin, which also offers sub-orbital flights that offer a similar experience, but on a more classic vertical launch rocket. Blue Origin’s third manned flight is scheduled to begin in early December.
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