Historic Mission Will Fly First Olympian and First Caribbean Astronauts to Space
Flight Window Opens August 10, 2023
Spaceflight to be Livestreamed on VirginGalactic.com
Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SPCE) (“Virgin Galactic” or the “Company”) today announced the crew of its seventh spaceflight and second commercial spaceflight, ‘Galactic 02,’ which will fly three private passengers to space, achieving several historical milestones and furthering the Company’s mission of broadening access to space.
VSS Unity will carry 80-year-old Jon Goodwin, Olympian and early Virgin Galactic ticket holder, as well as Keisha Schahaff and Anastatia Mayers, a Caribbean mother-daughter duo who won their seats in a draw that raised funds for non-profit Space for Humanity.
The dynamic and multi-national crew highlights the role the commercial space industry can play in removing barriers that once existed to becoming an astronaut. To date, fewer than 700 people have traveled to space, with little diversity among that group. Virgin Galactic’s mission is to change that – beginning with an 800 strong Future Astronaut community that represents more than 60 different nations.
The ‘Galactic 02’ mission will achieve a number of historical milestones, showcasing the power of each Virgin Galactic spaceflight to help redefine who gets to be an astronaut. VSS Unity will fly:
- The first astronauts from the Caribbean
- The first mother-daughter duo to go to space
- The first Olympian to go to space
- The second youngest person to go to space
- The second person with Parkinson’s to go to space
Michael Colglazier, CEO, Virgin Galactic, said, “This flight highlights two of Virgin Galactic’s core aspirations – increasing access to space and inspiring people around the world. Each of these astronauts are role models and beacons of inspiration in their communities. Watching Keisha, Ana and Jon embark on this transformative experience helps demonstrate that space is now opening to a broader and more diverse population across the globe.”
Jon Goodwin said, “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 new challenges. When I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014, I was determined not to let it stand in the way of living life to the fullest. And now for me to go to space with Parkinson’s is completely magical. 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 Schahaff said, “When I was two years old, just looking up to the skies, I thought, ‘How can I get there?’ But, being from the Caribbean, I didn’t see how something like this would be possible. The fact that I am here, the first to travel to space from Antigua, shows that space really is becoming more accessible. I know I will be changed by my 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.”
Rachel Lyons, Executive Director, 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 is 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 this 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 collective responsibility to treat one another with greater kindness, and to safeguard and cherish our home planet – the irreplaceable cradle of our existence.”
Audiences are invited to participate virtually in the spaceflight and see first-hand the extraordinary experience Virgin Galactic is creating for private astronauts. The livestream will be available to watch on VirginGalactic.com.
Press materials can be accessed via the Virgin Galactic Press FTP, including:
- ‘Galactic 02’ crew bios and profile shots
- Pilot bios
- Previous flight images and B-roll
Please visit the Virgin Galactic newsroom for further information.
About Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic is an aerospace and space travel company, pioneering human spaceflight for private individuals and researchers with its advanced air and space vehicles. It has developed a spaceflight system designed to connect the world to the love, wonder and awe created by space travel and to offer customers a transformative experience. You can find more information at https://www.virgingalactic.com/.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. We intend such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”) and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”). All statements contained in this press release other than statements of historical fact, including, without limitation, statements regarding our spaceflight systems, expected flight schedule, timing of subsequent commercial launches, scaling of our future fleet, repeatable and reliable access to space, validation of the astronaut experience, and future endeavors of our spaceflight crew are forward-looking statements. The words “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “potential,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “strategy,” “future,” “could,” “would,” “project,” “plan,” “target,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, though not all forward-looking statements use these words or expressions. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including but not limited to the factors, risks and uncertainties included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022, as such factors may be updated from time to time in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), accessible on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov and the Investor Relations section of our website at www.virgingalactic.com, which could cause our actual results to differ materially from those indicated by the forward-looking statements made in this press release. Any such forward-looking statements represent management’s estimates as of the date of this press release. While we may elect to update such forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we disclaim any obligation to do so, even if subsequent events cause our views to change.