Just two weeks ago, 18-year-old Ana Mayers found herself floating in the realm of zero gravity, surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of space.
Her journey is even more remarkable because she shared this once-in-a-lifetime experience with her mother.
The mother-daughter duo, along with former Olympian Jon Goodwin, embarked on Virgin Galactic’s inaugural tourist flight, etching their names as the first-ever pair to venture into space together.
From Space to Studies
Ana Mayers is back on Earth and preparing for a different journey – her pursuit of a philosophy and physics degree at the University of Aberdeen.
Despite the contrast between her recent interstellar adventure and her academic aspirations, Ana approaches both with the same enthusiasm and awe.
Speaking to BBC Newsbeat, Ana reminisces about her space voyage, describing it as connecting and emotional.
The experience of witnessing the Earth from space left an indelible mark on her perspective.
Ana’s encounter with the cosmos has fostered a newfound appreciation for Earth and the imperative of nurturing a connection with nature.
The extraordinary journey began when Ana, along with her mother, Keisha Schahaff, 46, won a competition that granted them a seat on Virgin Galactic’s inaugural flight.
Ana recalls the moment she learned of her selection. “My mum FaceTime me at a really random time that night. Richard Branson took the phone, and I was flabbergasted.”
The historic flight took off from Spaceport America in New Mexico on August 10th.
Over the course of 90 minutes, Ana, her mother, and Jon Goodwin, 80, experienced weightlessness at an altitude of approximately 85 kilometers (280,000 feet).
The awe-inspiring view of our planet from space gave them a unique perspective on their place in the universe.
Ana Mayers’ Inspiring Journey from Space to Earth
Despite the extensive training required for the space journey, Ana approached takeoff with a sense of calm.
She describes the sensation as akin to a normal commercial flight – peaceful and serene. As the countdown approached its climax, the reality of the adventure hit her.
“I was just so filled with excitement.”
Ana’s return to Earth has not dimmed the glow of her space odyssey.
People have started to see her as an inspiration, a role she humbly accepts.
Her hope is that her journey encourages others to embrace opportunities, to take themselves seriously, and to put in the effort required to achieve their aspirations.
As Ana Mayers resumes her studies and her life on Earth, her adventure in space will undoubtedly continue to inspire those who cross her path.
Her remarkable journey underscores the boundless potential of human determination and serves as a reminder that, just as in space, the sky is not the limit.