Virgin Galactic Celebrates 600th Customer

©Virgin Galactic

Sir Richard Branson and Marsha Waters.

Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group and Virgin Galactic, today announced that the company's 600th future astronaut is Marsha Waters, the owner of an accounting services company based in Blackpool, United Kingdom.

Marsha, 42, embodies the next generation of women in space: private individuals who are passionate about experiencing space travel for themselves. Sir Richard and Marsha are pictured here at The B Team launch in London on June 13. Marsha first took an interest in Virgin Galactic in 2010 and has been following its progress ever since.

"I've always been fascinated with space and often wondered whether space travel would ever be a possibility for people like me, especially in my lifetime," Marsha said. "After watching Virgin Galactic's supersonic test flight at the end of April, I thought "this is it" and made the decision to purchase my ticket to space while I still had the chance. It's a big step and a major financial commitment for me, but I know it will be the most exciting, worthwhile adventure I will ever embark upon."

This milestone coincides with two significant anniversaries relating to women who have made a substantial impact on the world through space travel. Valentina Tereshkova, a retired Soviet cosmonaut, made history on June 16, 1963 when she entered into low Earth orbit, giving her the title of "first woman to have flown in space." Sally Ride followed her lead on June 18, 1983 and became the first American woman to enter space.

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