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Iranian tourist dreams of seeing Earth from space

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Star City, Moscow region, Aug 30, IRNA
The first woman space tourist, Iranian-born American Anousheh Ansari dreams of seeing the Earth from space.

She told a news conference in the Star City on Wednesday that she expected the most fascinating moment of her flight to be her seeing the Earth against the background of black space.

Ansari said that she had not readied for a space flight since her childhood.

She added that she always knew that space harbored many secrets and wanted to sort them out.

Ansari was included in the new, 14th crew that is to fly to the International Space Station instead of Japanese space tourist Daisuke Enomoto who was barred from the mission for medical reasons.

She said that when she knew that she would fly to the ISS September, she had ambivalent feelings, including sadness for Enomoto, who had been preparing to the space flight long and seriously.

She expressed the hope that the dream of the Japanese would come true in the future.

Russian specialists said that Ansari could not be called just a space tourist.

"She has a big scientific program in orbit," the head of the space rocket Energia, Nikolai Sevastyanov, stressed.

The Cosmonaut Training Center's first deputy chief Valery Korzun told Itar-Tass that Ansari, the first female space non-professional, had an 'education that fully corresponds to space flights'.

Ansari has a serious research program for her ten-day space mission.

She said she would carry out in space a number of the European Space Agency's studies in medicine, microbiology and other areas.

She will also take with her 'teaching materials' for instruction from space.

The main goal of Ansari's mission is popularization of space research.

She said she wanted to be an example for many women and girls in order they believed that the impossible is possible.

She hopes to draw interest of many people in space.

Ansari said she had talked with many veteran spacemen, who advised her how to avoid unpleasant things during the flight.

But their main advice was to enjoy every moment of it, Ansari said.

She added that she would share her impress ions with other people on returning from space, Ansari will fly to the ISS with the new crew on September 14.


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