NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – It’s been a dream at New Mexico’s spaceport for more than a decade. Now, after years of tests and a recent experimental science mission, Virgin Galactic said it’s finally sending its first space tourists into weightlessness.
Three people will take off next month including a couple of contest winners and Virgin’s first paying tourist.
“Visually look at Earth from 50 miles into space is going to be something I’m really looking forward to,” said Jon Goodwin, a former Olympian going to space.
An adventure among the stars is something Jon Goodwin is less than two weeks away from at New Mexico’s spaceport, something he didn’t think was a possibility because of a health condition.
“The fact that I’m now one of three, the first commercial trips, to go into space suffering with Parkinson’s for nine years, it shows you this attitude for space for all,” said Goodwin.
To this day, less than 700 people have traveled to space.
Goodwin will be the first Olympian, and he’ll be joined by a mother and daughter. The first Caribbean Island astronauts to go to space.
“My interest in going to space really started from when I was from when I was two years old and just looking up at the skies and just a twinkle,” said contest winner Keisha Schahaff.
Keisha and her daughter Anastatia won a contest to get their tickets to space.
“I want to be an astrobiologist and that thought seemed to be so big and so almost impossible that I really didn’t think that I would have the opportunity,” said Anastatia, contest winner.
“It’s not just about somebody going up there and coming back and say, ‘Hey. I went to space.’ You know, like showing off. This is for all of us. This is our mission and how can we come together to make this more realistic for everyone,” said Schahaff.
The flight is currently scheduled for August 10. For now, Virgin is anticipating taking one commercial flight every month from the spaceport.