can’t see the forest

Anousheh Ansari Becomes First Iranian and First Female Muslim in Space

The Iranian-born Texas telecom and nonprofit executive Anousheh Ansari has become the first female space tourist, the fourth space tourist, the first person from Iran in space, and the first female Muslim in space.

Launched from Baikonur on a Soyuz mission to the International Space Station, Ansari had trained and was standing in as a backup for Japanese businessman Daisuke Enomoto. Enomoto was disqualified medically in August, and Ansari stepped forward to replace him. Prodea Systems, the Ansari family firm, has recently announced partnerships with the Federal Space Agency of Russia and with Space Adventures, Ltd. The Ansari family made a multi-million-dollar donation to the X Prize Foundation in 2004. The X Prize was a $10 million reward for achievement in private enterprise spaceflight, won by Tier One in 2004.

Her contract prevents disclosure of the amount that has been paid for her journey, but Ansari’s bill may have been as high as $20 million, based on precedent. Ansari has said that she hopes her view from space will positively impact her nonprofit work in social entrepreneurship. She was not allowed to wear an Iranian flag pin along with her US flag pin due to objections from the governments of the United States and Russia, who also asked that she cover the Iranian colors she is allowed to wear. The Ansaris have responded by saying that the message of the orbital mission should not be diluted by politics; that Anousheh is a US citizen born in Iran no matter what she is or is not allowed to wear.

Anousheh Ansari came to the US at the age of 16 after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. She did not speak English upon arriving in the US. She went on to earn an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from George Mason University and a master’s degree from George Washington University. Anousheh, her husband Hamid, and his brother Amir founded the family’s first telecommunications company in 1993.

The Ansaris are keeping an interesting and engaging weblog of the flight, and Anousheh intends to blog in orbit. The blogosphere extends…she is scheduled to return to Earth from the ISS on 28 September along with the astronauts being relieved by the Soyuz crew.

( blog | Wikipedia )


9 Responses

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  1. hooman said, on 9/20/06 at 4:42 am

    Again congratulation!!!! I wish,I were in your shoes.

  2. Wayne & Sammie Doering said, on 9/20/06 at 8:05 am

    Hi! Anousheh Ansari,

    We’re extremely proud of you this morning in learning that you have safely arrived at the ISS.
    Hopefully, we can keep up with your blog from day to day.

    We wish you much success on your mission and a safe return to earth.

    Wayne & Sammie Doering
    Clarendon, Texas

  3. Farideh Nejat said, on 9/20/06 at 6:47 pm

    Dear Anousheh,
    I wish you a safe trip coming back to earth. You definately are the pride for every woman on earth, especially for all Iranian women. My blessing and positive thoughts are with you. Keep up the great work you are doing while all the negative aspects of the news on earth is bothersome… you are shinning up in the sky for all of us here on earth.

    Anoushe, my mother, Mrs. Mehry Nejat just called from Virginia and I told her that I am sending you fairwell wishes. She mentioned that you know my cousin, Sharareh Salamian and actually while Sharareh was visiting you at your house, Mom came to pick her up. Wow… what a small world!!! here we are, you know my cousin. I believe you two were classmates at Zhandark in Tehran. I lived in Virgina since 1970 and just moved to Monterey, California four years ago. I teach here at Defense Language Institute, with the Department of Defense.

    Hope to hear from you when you recieve this message.

    Farideh Nejat

  4. Mahin Golpanah said, on 9/22/06 at 8:47 am

    Hello Anousheh: I am so proud that Iranian once more making a history/herstory. It is wonderful to see that an Iranian is becoming a pioneer in this field and make name for their own nation. By your action you set up precedence for Iranian women to look for brighter future which goes beyond the shameful Iranian leaders and government. Iranian women have been strong and intelligent and through the history showed how they can make difference if they want.
    Thank you for your action.

  5. sanjay Chavan said, on 9/29/06 at 11:59 pm

    Hello !
    Heartly Congratulation !
    I am really proud of u.
    May Allah increase your happyness as the speed of rocket daily.
    I hope u will win always hereafter.
    Am eager to know u r experience, that i wanna receive your reply soon.
    Wish you all the best.
    Sanjay from INDIA.

  6. Ashish said, on 9/30/06 at 12:04 am

    Congratulaton !
    Best wishes to u for u r space journey.
    Always u get new adventures like this.
    You are lucky one.
    send me u r thrilling experience
    bye, India

  7. Javeh Jafari said, on 10/2/06 at 2:26 am

    Dear Mrs.Ansari

    Congratulations to you for this wonderful achievement, you have trully made all the Persians around the world proud.

    I wish you all the best in your life and lots of more glorious golas for you to achieve…

    Javeh /Zimbabwe

  8. John Castellaneta said, on 1/18/07 at 1:46 am

    Google is the best search engine

  9. Shamshad said, on 5/9/08 at 10:07 pm


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