Antiguan Trailblazers Reach for the Stars: Two Women Make History as First Female Astronauts from the Caribbean


In a historic and groundbreaking achievement, the sky above Spaceport America, New Mexico, became a canvas for the dreams and aspirations of two exceptional women from the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

On a day that will forever be etched in the annals of space exploration, Keisha Schahaff and Anastatia Mayers defied gravity, shattered glass ceilings, and left an indelible mark on the cosmos.

The world watched in awe as VSS Unity, the pinnacle of Virgin Galactic’s innovation, stood poised on the launchpad.

Inside the spacecraft’s sleek confines, Keisha and Anastatia, a dynamic mother-daughter duo, exuded an air of determination mixed with excitement. Their journey transcended personal milestones; it was a testament to the power of dreams and the resilience of those who dare to venture into the unknown.

As the clock struck 8:30 AM MDT, a deafening roar engulfed the desert air, signaling the ignition of VSS Unity’s engines. With a grace that belied its power, the spacecraft defied gravity’s embrace and embarked on a trajectory that would forever change the lives of its passengers.

Keisha Schahaff, a trailblazing scientist, looked out of the window, her eyes capturing the curvature of the Earth. In that singular moment, the boundaries of her homeland, Antigua and Barbuda, seemed to blur, replaced by a sense of unity with the cosmos.

The weightlessness she experienced transcended the physical; it was a feeling of liberation, an affirmation that dreams could, indeed, become reality.

Anastatia Mayers, an accomplished astronaut and Keisha’s mother, held her daughter’s hand as the spaceship soared higher.

Their journey was more than a simple spaceflight—it was a culmination of years of perseverance, dedication, and unwavering support for each other. Together, they embodied the unbreakable bond between a mother and daughter, the embodiment of possibility and empowerment.

As VSS Unity reached its zenith at 55 miles above Earth, Keisha and Anastatia reveled in the beauty and fragility of their planet.

The Caribbean waters that cradled their homeland seemed both distant and intimately close, a poignant reminder of the interconnectedness of all life on Earth.

Mach 3 was surpassed, and the journey that had started as a dream now hurtled through the cosmos at a speed that defied imagination.

Keisha and Anastatia, in their pursuit of the stars, had become beacons of inspiration not only for their nation but for women everywhere who dare to dream beyond societal constraints.

The clock neared 9:30 AM MDT, and VSS Unity descended gracefully towards the welcoming embrace of the New Mexico desert. The cheers of onlookers and well-wishers at Spaceport America resonated with the pride and admiration of a world captivated by the audacity and achievement of these two remarkable women.

As the spaceship touched down softly, Keisha and Anastatia emerged from the spacecraft, their faces radiant with accomplishment.

They had embarked on a journey that spanned beyond the reaches of the atmosphere; they had carried the aspirations of their nation and the hopes of generations on their shoulders.

The legacy of Keisha Schahaff and Anastatia Mayers, the first female astronauts from the Caribbean, echoed far beyond the boundaries of Antigua and Barbuda.

Their story was not merely about space travel; it was about the power of unity, determination, and breaking barriers. Their names were etched among the stars, forever symbolizing the limitless potential that resides within us all.

As the world celebrated this remarkable achievement, the focus turned to the future. ‘Galactic 03’ awaited, promising more journeys into the cosmos, more dreams fulfilled, and more barriers shattered.

Keisha and Anastatia had not only touched the stars; they had ignited a spark of inspiration that would continue to burn brightly, guiding generations to reach for their own horizons.

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  1. I’m confused… They’re passengers? Now being applauded as astronauts, yikes, credit for anything these days

  2. Congrats to our erstwhile gravity challenged astronauts. You’ve made all of Antigua proud. One small step for Keisha and Anastatia; one giant step for Antigua…

  3. A historic moment for Antiguan. Mr. Branson what do you do for poor people? like really poor people?

  4. Rowing across the Pasific was a greater achievement than celebrating someone winning a free ride into space. Kets be real.

  5. This article is over-inflated and filled with inaccuracies.There is a difference between an astronaut – who is a scientist that trains for years and actually enters space – and a passenger. Keisha won a click-here-to-enter-a-sweepstakes contest and invited her daughter along for the ride…which did not actually enter what’s commonly known as “space”. Stop behaving as if they made some great effort and achievement. Any one of the millions of other ordinary people who entered could have done this. What’s next, giving them national honours because they floated for a little while with our flag on their suits? What are you all so proud of? Are we so small-minded that we laud people as near-royalty just because they wave the flag of our little nation wherever they go? No hate here, but let’s be real…this was not an accomplishment, just a novelty trip that one of our own happened to be lucky enough to win. And while we should be happy that that had this wonderful experience, lets not laud laud as “heroes”. Let’s recognize nationals who’ve actually worked hard, who give to their communities, who’ve trained tirelessly and achieved true heights of greatness. Like Team Island Girls…like our unsung community heroes and volunteers…like our long-serving stalwart educators…

    • I agree with you. I’m happy that they won the prize and had the experience, however it really has nothing to do with Antigua as a nation. We don’t have any programs to train astronauts here. Now if we are developing one at UWI FI, that is a different story. That would be a real accomplishment.

    • Nat U nah nah nah nah. Anyway, I’m so proud to be Antiguan. To my Island Girls, my love for you is as deep as the ocean. To our astronauts…love you to the moon and back!

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