Virgin Galactic will send its first sweepstakes winner to space!Visual Media Factory
Virgin Galactic announced its first sweepstakes winner on Wednesday, who will be sent to space by the space tourism company. Keisha S. (the company has withheld her last name) is a health coach from Antigua and Barbuda. She will be the first person from the Caribbean islands to visit space, and she hopes to bring her daughter, who studies astrophysics, as a guest on the spacecraft.
“I’ve always had a lifelong fascination with flying and space,” Keisha said in a press release. “This is truly a dream come true for me.”
The sweepstakes was created in collaboration with Omaze, a fundraising company, and Space for Humanity, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring an inclusive future in space.
Following the successful launch and return of its Unity 22 mission, which sent Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson to space, Virgin Galactic announced its plan to raffle off two seats on its spacecraft in July. According to Virgin Galactic, more than 100,000 people donated to the sweepstakes, which raised a projected $1.7 million in the eight weeks following its launch in July. The money raised will go to Space for Humanity and its Citizen Astronaut Program.
The year 2021 marked the start of a new era of private and civilian space missions. The first group of civilians was notable for their wealth, with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Virgin Galactic’s Branson among them. Many more private individuals are paying hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars to reserve a seat on an upcoming flight.
Companies and wealthy space tourists, on the other hand, have made efforts to bring along those who cannot afford the trips on their own. In September, billionaire funder Jared Isaacman joined SpaceX’s Inspiration4 space flight, along with three other people for whom Isaacman purchased tickets.
Keisha won a tour of Spaceport America in New Mexico in addition to a ticket to space. There is currently no word on when her trip will take place.
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