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My Trip In Space


Anousheh Ansari

Anousheh Ansari is the first female space tourist and the fourth overall to make the trip from Russia to the International Space Station (ISS). Anousheh Ansari's trip, by Space Adventures, was aboard a Russian Soyuz TMA-9 spacecraft, which launched September 9, 2006 from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Anousheh Ansari lifted off with cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin and astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria on Expedition 14. When returning from the ISS, on Expedition 13, Ansari flew with astronaut Jeff Williams and cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov on a regularly scheduled Russian taxi mission to exchange crew members.

Anousheh Ansari received cosmonaut training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. Until a month before her flight, however, Anousheh Ansari was a backup to Japanese businessman Daisuke Enomoto, who was scratched from the flight for medical reasons.

In stepped, 40-year-old Anousheh Ansari who became the first Iranian-born U. S. citizen to travel into space. Complete with iPod and motion sickness pills, Anousheh Ansari stepped into the Soyuz capsule for takeoff.

Though the flight went well from a technical standpoint, Anousheh Ansari did get sick on the trip to the ISS with headaches, lower back pain and motion sickness that the pills couldn't cure. She required a couple of injections of motion sickness medication from the crew to get her medical illness under control. One of her highlights was actually smelling "space" when the capsule docked with the ISS.

Anousheh Ansari and her family were the largest multi-million dollar donor to the X-prize for space tourism and, thus the Anasari X-prize was named after her generosity. In addition, Anousheh Ansari did something her predecessors did not do, which was start and maintain a blog of her adventure through the X-prize website.

Anousheh Ansari blogged about her thoughts, feelings and impressions of the days leading up to the mission, her flight and time about the ISS. While aboard the ISS she blogged to the website, was not able to read comments, but was able to answer limited emails and have them posted on the site for her fans on the ground. Some video of the flight is also posted to the blog as well.

While on the ISS, Anousheh Ansari conducted several experiments for the European Space Agency (ESA). She conducted experiments on anemia, lower back pain (of which she had first had experience), and the effect of radiation on crew members and space station microbes.

On September 29, the Soyuz capsule with Anousheh Ansari aboard undocked from the ISS and three and a half hours later, the parachutes came out and the capsule landed back in Kazakhstan. As a parting gift, the crew gave Anousheh Ansari a stuffed toy bear that had flown on the mission and been used as a zero-g sensor to let the crew know when they had officially arrived into space.

Anousheh Ansari co-founded both Prodea Systems and Telecom Technologies. Ansari received her master's degree at George Washington University in Washington D.C. and is fluent in Persian, French and English and acquired a working knowledge of Russian for her flight.


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