Lifting off with the Expedition 14 mission crew on September 18, 2006, American businesswoman Anousheh Ansari made headlines around the world as the first female private space explorer. In doing so, Anousheh, an engineer by training, also earned a place in history as the fourth private explorer to visit space and the first astronaut of Iranian descent.
Asked before her historic mission to the International Space Station what she hoped to achieve on her spaceflight, she said, "I hope to inspire everyone--especially young people, women, and young girls all over the world, and in Middle Eastern countries that do not provide women with the same opportunities as men--to not give up their dreams and to pursue them."
After her nine-day stay on the International Space Station where she performed a host of experiments on behalf of the European Space Agency, Anousheh, as an engineer and entrepreneur, has continued her efforts to advance technology and the commercialization of the space industry that she had begun before her flight. In her current venture, she is co-founder and chairman of Prodea Systems, a company that is focusing on unleashing the power of the Internet to all consumers and dramatically alter and simplify their digital living experience.
Anousheh tells students that Gandhi once said, 'Be the change you want to see in the world.'" What change/scientific advancement do you want to see and what will you be?
Read more about Anousheh here.
Watch this interview with Anousheh and hear her talk about what it was like to be in space.
And see Anousheh's greeting from space.