The first mother and daughter to fly in space and the first in the Caribbean.
On Aug. 10th, from Spaceport America in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, a mission departed that captured the world’s attention, making the twin islands of Antigua and Barbuda, as well as Keisha Schahaff and her daughter Anastatia Mayers, natives of the country, unwittingly protagonists.
Aboard the Virgin Galactic 02 vehicle – a live stream of the flight was broadcast on giant screens at a public Watch Party in Antigua-the two women took part in the space adventure with courage, determination, thirst for discovery and aspiration, characteristics typical of the locals who are so attracted to the cosmic world that they hosted on the dock of the luxury resort Hodges Bay Resort & Spa, The Boonji Spaceman, a statue of a huge astronaut in a Michael Jackson-inspired dance pose.
Decorated with the words “future,” “desire,” “vision,” and mathematical formulas, by contemporary artist Brendan Murphy, whose works are collected by faces such as Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Warren Buffett, Robert De Niro, and Ryan Gosling.
Commissioned by Christopher Harding, collector and co-owner of the resort, this sculpture represents the largest installation ever created by Murphy (nearly 7m high and weighing more than a ton) and is meant to symbolize the Man’s desire and will to overcome every obstacle and boundary, just like Keisha and Anastatia on their journey through space.
Anastatia, at only 18 years old, is the youngest person ever to cross the threshold of space; together with Keisha they became the first mother and daughter to fly into space. They are also, the first representatives of the Caribbean and the sixth and seventh among black women to accomplish this extraordinary feat, which will remain an indelible chapter in Antigua’s history as a living testament to the adventurous spirit, unity and warmth typical of the twin islands’ people.