Headlines > News > World’s first female private space explorer completes historic spaceflight

World’s first female private space explorer completes historic spaceflight

Published by Sigurd De Keyser on Fri Sep 29, 2006 7:27 am
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Space Adventures’ Client, Anousheh Ansari, Returns to Earth After Visiting the International Space Station

Space Adventures, Ltd., the world’s leading space experiences company, announced today that Anousheh Ansari successfully landed in the Kazakhstan steppes after an eight-day visit to the International Space Station (ISS). Mrs. Ansari returned to Earth aboard Soyuz TMA-8 with members of the Expedition 13 crew Jeff Williams and Pavel Vinogradov, who were relieved after their six-month assignment aboard the ISS.

“The experience was more than I had ever imagined; it has exceeded every expectation. Seeing the Earth from space will be forever etched into my mind. I have enjoyed each day to the fullest. I would like to thank Space Adventures for providing the flight opportunity, the crews of Expedition 13 and 14 who made me feel very welcomed during my time spent aboard the ISS and all those in who helped me prepare for this adventure,” said Mrs. Ansari, chairman and co-founder of Prodea Systems, Inc., a revolutionary digital home technology company. “I hope those around the world who followed my mission consider what their own dreams are and pursue them, as I have done with mine.”

“We, at Space Adventures, are excited to welcome Anousheh back to Earth and congratulate her on this historic spaceflight. She is a true space visionary and it is our hope that her dedication to the development of commercial human spaceflight will be an inspiration to the rest of the world,” said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures.

Earlier in the month, on September 18, Mrs. Ansari launched aboard Soyuz TMA-9 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. She joined Expedition 14 commander Michael Lopez-Alegria and flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin for the flight. They arrived at the space station on Sept. 20 and were greeted by the Expedition 13 crew.

In preparation for her spaceflight, Mrs. Ansari completed a cosmonaut training program at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center located in Star City, Russia. Space Adventures has previously sent three private explorers to space. In 2001, American Dennis Tito fulfilled his dream of space travel, and in 2002, the ‘First African in Space’ Mark Shuttleworth launched and, last October, American Greg Olsen took flight.

Mrs. Ansari is a successful entrepreneur. She is chairman and co-founder of Prodea Systems, Inc. and a member of the X Prize Foundation’s Vision Circle, as well as its Board of Trustees. She was also the title sponsor for the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million (USD) cash prize for the first non-governmental organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks. Prior to co-founding Prodea Systems, in 2006, Mrs. Ansari co-founded Telecom Technologies, Inc., where she served as the company’s co-founder, chief executive officer and chairman. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electronics and computer engineering from George Mason University and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from The George Washington University. She is currently working toward a Master of Science degree in astronomy from Swinburne University.

Space Adventures, the only company to have successfully launched private explorers to space, is headquartered in Vienna, Va. with offices in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Moscow and Tokyo. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for spaceflight missions to the International Space Station and around the moon, Zero-Gravity and jet flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts. The company’s advisory board includes Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, Shuttle astronauts Sam Durrance, Robert Gibson, Tom Jones, Byron Lichtenberg, Norm Thagard, Kathy Thornton, Pierre Thuot, Charles Walker, Skylab astronaut Owen Garriott and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachev. For more information, please visit www.spaceadventures.com.

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