By Zaya Williams
There is no limit to your ambitions and aspirations. That is the message that two new astronauts from Antigua and Barbuda hope to spread.
Two pioneering women Keisha Schahaff and Anastasia Mayers became the first mother-daughter duo to fly to space together and the first persons from the Caribbean.
This morning, the carrier mothership VMS Eve took off from Spaceport America in the state of New Mexico.
The Unity rocket ship separated from Eve as planned fifty minutes into the flight.
A short time later, the passengers were given the all-clear to unbuckle.
With a breathtaking view of Earth and space before them, Schahaff and Mayers experienced the weightless embrace of zero gravity.
Their eyes locked onto the window, basking in the profound beauty that only astronauts have had the privilege to witness.
They then returned to their seats and strapped themselves back in ahead of the return journey.
They successfully landed back at Spaceport America just over an hour after taking off.
The significance of their journey extends far beyond the physical realm. It is a testament to the power of dreams.
Although the opportunity was one in a million and one of the greatest adventures anyone could go on, the women are determined to reach higher heights.
“This experience has given me this beautiful feeling that if I can do this, I can do anything so just keep taking a step and a next step and a next step and see what comes,” she said.
Schahaff, a health and wellness coach, said she intends to channel her experience into a new chapter as a motivational speaker.
“I would say that definitely to make a strong impact in motivating especially the younger ones,” she shared.
“We have to go beyond our fears. We have so many big dreams, and a lot of the times we are afraid to voice it because it’s too big… It is okay to dream big,” Schahaff passionately shared.
Mayers, a second-year philosophy and physics student at the University of Aberdeen, is equally motivated to harness the power of her space journey.
With the newfound connection to Earth and an insatiable thirst for adventure, she sets her sights on exploring the uncharted territories of experience. “I definitely feel a lot more connected to earth itself and a lot more motivated to explore and be even more adventurous,” Mayers expressed.
The two women flew to space alongside 80-year-old former British Olympian Jon Goodwin who bought his ticket to fly in 2005.
He was the fourth person to reserve a flight but was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014.