Virgin Galactic’s seventh spaceflight, ‘Galactic 02’, will fly three private passengers to space, but who are those who will be on board VSS Unity when it takes off on Thursday?
First on board will be 80-year-old Jon Goodwin, Olympian and early Virgin Galactic ticket holder.
Diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014, Goodwin will be only the second person to travel to space with the condition.
He is also the first Olympian to travel into space.
“From becoming an Olympian to canoeing between the peaks of Annapurna, to winning a six day race in the Arctic Circle, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (and cycling back down), I’ve always enjoyed rising to new challenges,” Goodwin.
“When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014, I was determined not to let it stand in the way of living life to the fullest. And now for me to go to space with Parkinson’s is completely magical. I hope this inspires all others facing adversity and shows them that challenges don’t have to inhibit or stop them from pursuing their dreams.”
Student and mother of two
Keisha Schahaff and Anastatia Mayers, a Caribbean mother-daughter duo, won their seats on the Virgin Galactic craft in a draw that raised $1.7m in grants for non-profit Space for Humanity.
The 46-year-old is an entrepreneur and health and wellness coach from Antigua and Barbuda.
Anastatia is an 18-year-old university 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 and daughter to travel to space together.
Virgin Galactic mission
The Virgin Galactic civilian space flight will see a three-person crew and three guests set off for a 90-minute flight to suborbital space on VSS Unity.
The launch is Virgin Galactic’s seventh spaceflight and will see a multi-national crew which the company said highlights the role the commercial space industry can play in removing barriers that once existed to becoming an astronaut.
To date, fewer than 700 people have traveled to space, with little diversity among that group. Virgin Galactic’s mission is to change that, beginning with an 800 strong ‘Future Astronaut’ group of people who have reserved spaces on the craft.
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