Lucky Antiguan going to space on Virgin Galactic

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PEOPLE.COM:

One lucky mom is in for the experience of a lifetime.

 

Keisha S., a health and energy coach from Antigua and Barbuda, is the proud winner of two seats aboard one of Virgin Galactic’s first commercial flights to space thanks to Virgin Galactic and Sir Richard Branson’s Omaze sweepstakes

 

Making the experience even more exciting? She hopes to be able to bring her daughter, an astrophysics student, along for the trip.

“I barely have the words to capture my excitement,” Keisha tells PEOPLE in a statement. “I entered the sweepstakes after I saw an ad when I was taking my daughter to school, but who would have thought that I’d actually win. My daughter is studying STEM and wants to work at NASA, and I hope to share this experience with her because it would be an incredible dream come true for both of us, for our entire family.

“To be the first astronaut right now from the Caribbean Islands is such an honor,” she adds. “I want to bring the flag of Antigua and Barbuda to space with me! Right now, I’m trying to live in the moment, take it all in and I hope my daughter and I — as a future astronaut!— can be an inspiration for women and girls everywhere.”

The sweepstakes kicked off in July, after Branson, along with five other team members, embarked on the company’s first fully crewed flight test.

Over eight weeks, the sweepstakes drew donations from 164,338 people around the world — and raised a projected $1.7 million in grants for Charities Aid Foundation America, which will grant all funds to Space for Humanity and its Citizen Astronaut Program.

The company says Keisha is the first person from the Caribbean islands to join its “Future Astronaut community” of 700 people. As a part of her experience, Keisha will also receive a tour of Virgin Galactic’s spaceport in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, guided by the Virgin Galactic team and Branson, the company’s founder.

Branson had the honor of personally telling Keisha that she won the sweepstakes, and the moment, he says, was a “moving” one.

“It’s in moments like these where I couldn’t be happier to see the mission of Virgin Galactic come to life, and I’m so thrilled to welcome such a remarkable person like Keisha into Virgin Galactic’s Future Astronaut family,” he adds.

Omaze CEO and co-founder Matt Pohlson — who also surprised Keisha with the good news alongside Branson and Space For Humanity executive director Rachel Lyons — said they “couldn’t be more thrilled” for Keisha.

“Omaze exists to dream the world better. Not only will a lifelong stargazer get to experience space, but this also helps Space for Humanity open up that opportunity to even more people. Because of that, the partnership with Virgin Galactic and Space for Humanity was a dream come true for Omaze too,” Pohlson said in a press release.

(L-R) Matt Pohlson, Sir Richard Branson, Keisha, and Rachel Lyons Courtesy Virgin Galactic

Branson made history as the first billionaire to fly to space earlier this year. The 71-year-old, along with five Virgin Galactic crew members, flew to an altitude of 53.5 miles above Earth’s surface on July 11, which is past the 50-mile mark NASA and the U.S. military consider the edge of space.

After the trip, Branson told PEOPLE that one of his next goals was seeing off the first Virgin Galactic customers on their trips to space.

 

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27 COMMENTS

  1. Im sure she could have the use the money it cost instead.

    Go space to say what …..to do what….JUS to say you went.

    • Ah wha mek you so begrudging? You go tell the man how fu spend he money, and how she shoulda accept the gift?

      Get wan life! Cha man!

    • @ You are a waste of time:
      It is not a waste of time.If you were given the opportunity to go I do believed you would go.

        • You behave like a politician. You get a grant to build a road and you used the funds for your campaign.
          I’m so happy for you and your daughter Keisha.She is gaining some experience for her career.
          Congratulations 👏🎈💞💐🌹🥂!!

    • You behave like a politician. You get a grant to build a road and you used the funds for your campaign.
      I’m so happy for you and your daughter Keisha.She is gaining some experience for her career.
      Congratulations 👏🎈💞💐🌹🥂!!

  2. 🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬🇦🇬

  3. Congratulations Keisha!
    Thrilled for your STEM-studying daughter… NASA is a real possibility in her future.
    WOW! imagine the magic you’ll bring back to share with all our school pupils & tertiary students….
    Tremendous opportunity for education in Antigua.

    Also, perfect match for the ABTA ‘ your space…’ tourism campaign.

    Carefully prepared, planned and managed, Keisha & her daughter will be superstars for the country with priceless education, tourism & economic benefits.

    Merry Christmas early!

  4. Congratulations to the winner. You have put Antigua with your win in the spotlight all over the world. I’m incredibly happy for you and your daughter. Now we must wait on the day when you really will make this historic journey. When history will be written with you as the first Caribbean Woman and the First Antiguan and Barbudan to go into Space. Thanks also to Sir Richard Branson who keeps on giving to mankind as much as he can.

  5. “To boldly go where no Antiguan has gone before”

    Awesome; congratulations Keisha! And thanks to Sir Richard for making this amazing opportunity possible for his fellow Leeward Islander.

  6. That’s an awesome opportunity for Antigua and indeed the rest of the Caribbean. Congrats Keisha. Dont let bad minded, envious haters dim your shine.

  7. Such a shame when people like that fails miserably to observe an opportunity in front of his face, as it regards the fortunate opportunity for Antigua. He must not be Antiguan and is envious.

    Congratulations 🎉👏 to all Antiguans and the Caribbean.

  8. Congrats to the lady, it’s a extreme and blessed honnor to hear our country will be given a chance to explore what nobody here may or may not have ever had a chance to do. Congrats again

Comments are closed.