An 18-year-old student from Aberdeen University and her mother are set to embark on a unique journey to space after winning a spot on Virgin Galactic’s second commercial flight through a prize draw. Anastatia Mayers and her mother, Keisha Schahaff, will make history as the first mother and daughter duo to venture into space following the Space Travel Prize win.

They will also become the first individuals from the Caribbean region to undertake such a journey.

Scheduled for takeoff from New Mexico on Thursday, this remarkable opportunity came about unexpectedly for Keisha. While on a Virgin Atlantic flight from Antigua to London, she noticed an advertisement for the competition and decided to participate. Months later, she received the exciting news that she was among the winners of the Space Travel Prize.

The journey to space was an unforeseen consequence of Anastatia’s decision to study in Scotland. She attributes her path to space to her choice of studying at Aberdeen University, which led to the opportunity. Anastatia, a second-year philosophy and physics student, believes that her educational journey has opened doors to incredible experiences.

Galactic 02, the upcoming mission, marks the second commercial spaceflight organised by Virgin Galactic and will be the first with paying customers onboard. The cost of a ticket for a ride on the rocket plane has been notably high, reaching up to US$450,000 (£350,000).

Anastatia, who will become the second youngest person to travel to space, aims to use this experience as a source of inspiration for others. She hopes to break barriers and encourage individuals to pursue their dreams despite challenges or setbacks. Her determination to make a positive impact on others reflects her belief that anyone can achieve their dreams, regardless of their background.

Keisha, thrilled about the journey alongside her daughter, expresses that the experience goes beyond being a dream come true. Both of them share a common goal and dream, and the unique journey to space symbolises their remarkable bond. Joining them on this journey is Jon Goodwin, a former Team GB Olympian from Newcastle. Goodwin’s participation adds another layer of uniqueness to the mission as he becomes the second person with Parkinson’s to go to space and the first Olympian to do so.