Virgin Galactic Announces Crew For Historic 'Galactic 02' Spaceflight

Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (SPCE) has revealed the crew for its upcoming ‘Galactic 02’ spaceflight, which aims to achieve significant milestones and advance the company’s mission of democratizing access to space.

The crew will consist of three private passengers, marking the second commercial spaceflight conducted by Virgin Galactic.

80-year-old Jon Goodwin, an Olympian and early Virgin Galactic ticket holder, will join Keisha Schahaff and Anastatia Mayers, a Caribbean mother-daughter duo who secured their seats through a fundraising draw organized by non-profit organization Space for Humanity.

The diverse composition of the crew highlights the role of the commercial space industry in breaking down barriers to becoming an astronaut. With less than 700 individuals having traveled to space to date, Virgin Galactic aims to increase representation and diversity in this exclusive group. The company’s Future Astronaut community, comprising more than 800 individuals from over 60 nations, exemplifies this objective.

The ‘Galactic 02’ mission will set several historical records, emphasizing the transformative nature of each Virgin Galactic spaceflight in redefining the concept of an astronaut. The milestones to be achieved during the flight include, the first astronauts from the Caribbean, the first mother-daughter duo to venture into space, the first Olympian to reach space, the second youngest person to travel to space, and the second individual with Parkinson’s disease to journey into space

Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic, expressed the company’s aspirations of increasing access to space and inspiring people worldwide through this mission. He emphasized the crew members’ status as role models in their communities and how their transformative experience would contribute to the growing inclusivity of space exploration.

Jon Goodwin, diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2014, expressed his enthusiasm for defying the challenges posed by his condition. He described the opportunity to go to space with Parkinson’s as magical and hoped to inspire others facing adversity to pursue their dreams.

Keisha Schahaff, hailing from Antigua, emphasized the significance of her journey as the first person from her country to travel to space. She noted that this achievement showcased the increasing accessibility of space and expressed her desire to share the energy and inspiration gained from the experience with others.

Rachel Lyons, Executive Director of Space for Humanity, highlighted the transformative perspective astronauts gain from viewing Earth from space, known as the “Overview Effect.” This perspective fosters unity and empathy among humanity and holds great potential in addressing global challenges. Space for Humanity aims to grant as many individuals as possible access to this life-altering viewpoint to benefit the future of civilization and confront pressing global needs.

The ‘Galactic 02’ spaceflight will be livestreamed on, allowing audiences to virtually participate and witness the extraordinary experience being created for private astronauts.

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