A Caribbean mom has won two tickets to space — and is taking her NASA-obsessed daughter with her.
Keisha Schahaff, 44, was filmed screaming with delight when Richard Branson surprised her at her home in Antigua with two tickets for a future Virgin Galactic space flight.
‘You’re going to space!” the 71-year-old British billionaire told the health coach of the two free tickets worth $450,000 each.
Seconds before her surprise visit, Schahaff had told Branson and some of his team in a Zoom call that she “always dreamt of life beyond Earth.”
“I always believe dreams can come true — maybe not in this lifetime, but it will come true eventually,” she had told them, not realizing they were chatting from a van outside her home.
“My daughter wants to come with me. She says, ‘Don’t you dare take anybody else!’” she told them of the 17-year-old astrophysics student who dreams of working for NASA.
After Branson — who beat Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to be the first billionaire in space — surprised Schahaff and handed over her astronaut uniform, they video-called her daughter, Ana, who is studying in the UK.
“You and your mother are going to space!” Branson told the speechless teen.
Schahaff won the prize ahead of nearly 165,000 others who entered a sweepstakes that raised $1.7 million for the nonprofit Space for Humanity, which aims to open “access to space for all of humanity.”
A date for her flight has yet to be set — and she joins a line of 700 in the “Future Astronaut community” who have bought tickets, Virgin Galactic confirmed to Agence France-Presse.
Still, Schahaff told People magazine that it is “an incredible dream come true for both” her and her teen daughter.
“I barely have the words to capture my excitement,” told the mag.
“To be the first astronaut right now from the Caribbean Islands is such an honor. I want to bring the flag of Antigua and Barbuda to space with me!
“Right now, I’m trying to live in the moment, take it all in and I hope my daughter and I — as a future astronaut!— can be an inspiration for women and girls everywhere.”
Branson said it had always been his goal to “give people of all ages and backgrounds equal access to space.”
“I couldn’t be happier to see the mission of Virgin Galactic come to life,” he said.