A Scottish university student flew into space on Virgin Galactic’s first space tourism flight this afternoon.
Anastatia Mayers, 18, who is originally from the Caribbean but has Scottish roots, picked up a saltire as she made her way to VSS Unity.
And Virgin Galactic’s first space tourism flight successfully landed back on Earth tonight after carrying three passengers, including Anastatia, into space.
The landing at 4:33pm (UK time) was greeted with applause from Virgin Galactic viewers, passengers smiled and nodded.
They were flown to the edge of space and experienced weightlessness while looking back at the curvature of the planet before returning to Earth.
It was the first time a mother-daughter duo had visited space together.
Anastatia and her mother Keisha Schahaff, 46, won a spot on the coveted mission in a £350.00 prize draw.
The mother ship VMS Eve launched from New Mexico at around 15:30 UK time and after reaching an altitude of approximately 44,500 feet, VSS Unity was released at around 16:17 UK time.
A short time later, the passengers were given permission to unbuckle their seat belts and enjoy zero gravity. Then they immediately reached for the windows to enjoy the view of the earth.
They then returned to their seats and fastened their seat belts before the return journey.
Earlier, Anastatia shared that she believes she only won the place on board the shuttle because she enrolled at Aberdeen Uni.
She and her mother were on their way to London to apply for a visa so she could secure her seat when she signed up for the Virgin Galactic 02 seat draw.
Her father, Tony, was unable to make the trip with his daughter to New Mexico, from where she will be flying on.
But he will be watching online as she is launched into orbit and becomes the second youngest human in space as well as one half of the first mother-daughter duo.
Anastatia and her parents who separated have always loved space and her dream is to become an astrobiologist.
But she stuck with her plan of moving to Scotland to study a mystery until she got things under control.
The student has just completed the second year of her philosophy and physics studies at the university.
But Tony reckons she’ll have a hard time leaving her adopted country and will likely settle there for good once she meets the requirements.
And she’s paying tribute to her family history by taking a saltire with her when she leaves tomorrow.
Her father Tony revealed: “There are Scottish roots in my mother’s family. Ana found out after she decided on Aberdeen and went there.
“Her spacesuit has both the Scottish flag and the Antigua flag sewn on her spacesuit, symbolizing her dual lineage.”
But 80-year-old former Olympian Jon Goodwin, from Newcastle, secured his place as the company’s first paying customer 18 years ago after purchasing a $250,000 (£194,500) ticket.
He is the first Olympian and only the second person with Parkinson’s disease to fly into space.
In June, Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic successfully completed the company’s first commercial spaceflight, taking Italian astronauts into space to conduct a series of scientific experiments.
The company is calling Thursday’s first private astronaut mission Galactic 02.
If all goes well, Sir Richard’s company will begin offering customers monthly trips on his winged spaceplane, joining Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX in the space tourism business.
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