On Wednesday, Virgin Galactic announced its first winner of the competition the space tourism company is sending into space. The winner, Keisha S. (her last name is withheld by the company), is a health coach from Antigua and Barbuda. She will be the first person from the Caribbean islands to visit space and hopes to bring her daughter, who is studying astrophysics, on the spacecraft with her as a guest.
“I have always had a long-standing love for flight and a fascination with space,” Keisha said in a press release. “It really is a dream come true for me. ”
The raffle was carried out in partnership with Omaze, a fundraising company, and Space for Humanity, a non-profit organization committed to ensuring an inclusive future in space.
Virgin Galactic announced plans to raffle two seats on its spacecraft in July following the successful launch and return of its Unity 22 mission that sent Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson into space. More than 100,000 people donated to the raffle, which grossed $ 1.7 million in eight weeks after launching in July, according to Virgin Galactic. Profits will be donated to Space for Humanity and its Citizen Astronaut Program.
2021 saw the start of a new era of private and civilian space missions. The first group of civilians stood out for their extreme wealth, most notably Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Branson of Virgin Galactic. Many other individuals are paying hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars to reserve a seat on a future flight.
But companies and wealthy space tourists have also made efforts to bring in those who cannot afford the trips on their own. In September, SpaceX’s Inspiration4 space flight featured billionaire backer Jared Isaacman and three others, for whom Issacman bought tickets.
In addition to winning a ticket for space, Keisha also won a Spaceport America tour of New Mexico. We do not yet know when his trip will take place.