In 2006, Anousheh Ansari captured headlines around the world as the first female private space explorer and the first astronaut of Iranian descent.
Ansari is a living example of the American dream. After immigrating to the United States as a teen who spoke no English, she went on to become co-founder of several technology companies. To help drive commercialization of the space industry, Ansari and her family provided sponsorship for the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million cash award for the first private organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks. The prize was awarded in 2004 to Scaled Composites for their craft, SpaceShipOne, which is on display in the National Mall building.
Ansari has devoted her life to stimulating grassroots enthusiasm about the virtues of space exploration; to inspire youth, and especially girls, around the world to pursue their dreams; and to promote peace and understanding among nations as the world’s first Space Ambassador.
On Saturday, November 1, Ansari will speak about her six months of astronaut training and experiences on the International Space Station as a member of Expedition 14.