The twin-island nation of Antigua and Barbuda is eagerly preparing for a historic moment as Keisha Schahaff and her daughter Anastasia Mayers become the country’s first astronauts. The pair will embark on a space travel journey aboard the Galactic 02 spaceflight from Spaceport America, New Mexico on August 10, 2023.
This marks Virgin Galactic’s first private astronaut spaceflight and the second commercial spaceflight overall. Antigua and Barbuda’s Schahaff, 46, and her 18-year-old daughter will make history as the first Caribbean mother-daughter duo to go to space.
To celebrate this milestone, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority will hold two public watch parties on August 10 in both Antigua and Barbuda. The entire nation is invited to join in the festivities and share in the excitement.
The Galactic 02 spaceflight is a momentous occasion not only for Antigua and Barbuda but also for the Caribbean and beyond. Watch parties and observances will be held to honor the achievements of these astronauts and inspire others to pursue their own curiosity.
Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Transportation, and Investment, Max Fernandes, expressed admiration for the duo, stating that they will serve as an inspiration for those who dream of space travel and a reminder of the fearless Antiguans and Barbudans who have broken barriers.
Colin C. James, CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, applauded the women for their remarkable journey and said that the whole nation feels as if they will be going to space with them. The watch parties will also be attended by special guests, including Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, and Christopher Huie, the 19th Black astronaut.
The watch party in Antigua will be held at the Antigua Recreation Ground, while the one in Barbuda will take place at the Holy Trinity Primary School. Both venues will open at 9 am, with the launch scheduled shortly after 10 am.
Attendees will not only witness the exciting launch of the Galactic 02 spaceflight live on screens but also enjoy entertainment and activities in celebration of this momentous occasion. The spaceflight can also be viewed live on the Virgin Galactic website.