Virgin Galactic's Galactic 02 Takes Flight: Mother-Daughter Duo Among Passengers

Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity, a reusable rocket-powered space plane, soared into the great unknown and safely returned, marking yet another successful venture into space tourism.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Virgin Galactic's Galactic 02 Takes Flight: Mother-Daughter Duo Among Passengers

In a spectacular display of engineering and human endeavor, Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity, a reusable rocket-powered space plane, soared into the great unknown and safely returned, marking yet another successful venture into space tourism.

From Earth to Space and Back: A Seamless Journey

Taking off shortly after 11 a.m. ET on Thursday, the Galactic 02 mission departed from Spaceport America in New Mexico with a total of six people on board. The spacecraft was commanded by former NASA astronaut CJ Sturckow, with Kelly Latimer serving as the pilot.

Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic's chief astronaut instructor who had the responsibility of pre-flight training, was also among the crew members. Sharing this awe-inspiring journey were three private passengers, including health and wellness coach Keisha Schahaff and her daughter, 18-year-old Anastasia Mayers.

The inclusion of the Schahaff-Mayers duo in this mission was particularly noteworthy as they made history by becoming the first mother-daughter pair to journey into space together. According to reports from Space.com, Schahaff's place on the spacecraft wasn't just a mere purchase – it was a coveted prize she won through a fundraising contest held by Space for Humanity.

The nonprofit organization has set its sights on democratizing space travel, making it accessible and inclusive. Meanwhile, Mayers, a young academic prodigy studying philosophy and physics at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, etched her name in the records as the second-youngest individual to venture into space.

Passengers Reflect on Their Outerworldly Experience

Post-flight, Schahaff shared her exhilarating experience with the media, expressing, “Looking at Earth was the most amazing... It was so comfortable. It really was the best ride ever.

I would love to do this again”. With an air of newfound confidence, she conveyed, “This experience has given me this beautiful feeling that if I can do this, I can do anything”. Echoing her sentiments, Mayers added, “I was shocked at the things that you feel.

You are so much more connected to everything than you would expect to be. You felt like a part of the team, a part of the ship, a part of the universe, a part of Earth. It was incredible, and I’m still starstruck”.

Adding another feather to Galactic 02's cap, this mission has set the record for the most number of women in space on a single flight. For those aspiring to touch the stars, Virgin Galactic has priced tickets for such unique flights between $250,000 to $450,000.

Enthusiasts and space aficionados should mark their calendars, as Galactic 03, Virgin Galactic's third commercial space flight, is scheduled for a September launch.

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