Virgin Galactic has announced the flight window for the ‘Galactic 02’ flight mission. This mission will be Virgin Galactic’s seventh spaceflight, second commercial space light and third spaceflight this year; flying three private passengers to space. The flight window will open on August 10, 2023, continuing the company’s cadence of spaceflights,
Details of the flight manifest, including the crew and pilots, will be released at a later date. The dynamic and inspiring crew will showcase the importance of removing the barriers of entry to human spaceflight.
Virgin Galactic’s seventh spaceflight and second commercial spaceflight, ‘Galactic 02’ will fly three private passengers to space, achieving several historical missions and furthering Virgin Galactic’s mission to broadening access to space. VSS Unity will carry 80-year-old Jon Goodwin, Olympian and early Virgin Galactic ticket holder, as well as Keisha Schadaff and Anastasia Mayer, a Caribbean mother-daughter duo who won their seats in a draw that raised finds for non-profit ‘Space for Humanity’.
The dynamic and multi-national crew highlights the role the space industry can play in removing barriers that exist in becoming an astronaut.
“From becoming an Olympian to canoeing between the peaks of Annapurna, to winning a six-day race in the Arctic Circle, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (and cycling back down), I’ve always enjoyed rising to challenges,” Jon Goodwin said. “When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014, I was determined to not let it stand in the way of me living life to the full.
“And now, for me to go to space with Parkinson’s is completely magic. I hope this inspires all others facing adversity and shows them that challenges don’t have to inhibit or stop them from pursuing their dreams.” Keisha added: “When I was just 2 years old, just looking up to the skies, I thought ‘How can I get there?’
“But, being from the Caribbean, I couldn’t see how something like this could be possible. The fact that I am here, the first to travel to space, and coming from Antigua, shows that space is becoming more accessible.
“I know I will be changed by this experience, and I hope I will be able to share that energy and inspire the people around me – in my role as a life coach, a mother, and as an ambassador for our beautiful planet.”
To date, fewer than 700 have traveled to space, with very little diversity among the group. Virgin Galactic’s mission is to change that – beginning with an 800-strong Future Astronaut that represents more than 60 nationalities.
Rachel Lyons, Executive Director of Space For Humanity, said: “Beholding Earth from the vantage point of space bestows upon astronauts an awe-inspiring perspective, referred to as The Overview Effect, that transcends boundaries and unites humanity.
“It’s this transformative perspective that holds one of the keys to tackling our world’s most pressing challenges. At Space For Humanity, our purpose is to grant as many individuals as possible access to the life-altering viewpoint, not only for the betterment of our civilization’s future, but also to confront the urgent needs of our world today.
“This profound awareness underscores our respective responsibility to treat each other with greater kindness, and to safeguard and cherish our home planet – the irreplaceable cradle of our existence.” The spaceflight is set to be livestreamed on VirginGalactic.com.