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 Nov. 03, 2006  09:42 
hay.. Ms. Ansari is not Arab, she is from Old Country (Persia/Iran), u better go and study some history then ... >>
May 08, 2006
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Russia Sends Iranian Female into Orbit
Space Tourism
The Russian Federal Space Agency officially announced that Iranian born Anoushe Ansari would travel in space on the Soyuz aircraft next spring. It is not an official Russian-Iranian flight, since Ms. Ansari, a U.S. citizen, is to fund the flight on her own to become the first female space tourist. The Ansari family is also well known for investing in space tourism projects.
Alexey Krasnov, the head of the Federal Space Agencys department for pilot programs, said on Friday that Anoushe Ansari, the ethnic Iranian U.S. citizen, is to become an alternate for Japans Daisuke Enomoto who is to set to fly to the International Space Station this fall on the Russian Soyuz. We have signed a pre-contract agreement with Ansari. She is considered an alternate for the Japanese cosmonaut, Mr. Krasnov said. Besides that, Ansari is to travel on the Soyuz as an unprofessional participant of the flight, scheduled for spring 2007. The representative of the Russian space agency explained that there are now two candidates for this flight Ms. Ansari and Microsofts former employee, Charles Simonyi. However, Mr. Simonyis plans may change due to some recent developments, related to his business. Therefore Ansari has better chances to set off in spring 2007. She underwent medical tests in February and was declared fit for the flight, Alexey Krasnov concluded.

Anoushe Ansari was born in 1967 in Teheran. Her family immigrated to the United States after the Islamic Revolution. Ms. Ansari, her husband Hamid and his brother Amir founded Telecom Technologies in the U.S. to produce telecommunication equipment. The business brought multi-million revenues to the family. After Telecom Technologies merged with Sonus Netword in 2000, the Ansaris set up Prodea Inc., an investment firm. The family has heavily invested in space tourism for a few years. Prodea became the major sponsor of the X-Prize in 2004, contributing $10 million for the contest to build the first private suborbital space flight. After the donation, the contest was renamed to Ansari X-Prize. Mojave Aerospace Ventures won the prize in October 2004 after its SpaceShipOne spacecraft had gone twice to the height of over 100 km over two weeks.

Space Adventures, which has lately in charge with flights of space tourists on Russian Soyuzs, signed an agreement with Prodea in February to finance the construction of Explorer suborbital spacecrafts at the Myasishchev factory in Russia. Space Adventures and Prodea also agreed to use airdromes in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arabic Emirates, and in Singapore for suborbital launches of Explorers. The third airdrome will be found in the United States. Investments in the revamping of the airdromes and the organization of suborbital spacecrafts flights may cost about $0.5 billion. The market of suborbital tourist flights is worth of $1 billion annually, according to Space Adventuress early estimates.

A source of Kommersant at the Russian Space Agency reported that Anoushe Ansari discussed her possible space flight with Space Adventures at the signing of the agreement. Ms. Ansari preferred not to fly on a suborbital spacecraft, where weightlessness lasts only ten minutes, but opted for the Soyuz whose the flight is eight-day-long. The source said that Space Adventures abandoned its commission given Ms. Ansaris big investment in the companys projects. Thus, Anoushe Ansari will pay $20 million for her flight on the Soyuz to the Russian party only.
Konstantin Lantratov

All the Article in Russian as of May 06, 2006

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