Like millions of people fascinated by space, Anousheh Ansari said she remembers wondering as a child if somebody else like her could be out there among the stars. Next month the Iranian-born US entrepreneur can get a closer look, as she rides a Russian capsule to the international space station and becomes the first female space tourist.
The most exciting moment in her voyage will likely come when she first sees Earth "as a blue, glowing globe against the dark background of the cosmos," Ansari, 39, told a news conference Wednesday at the Russian cosmonaut training center outside Moscow.
Ansari is scheduled to ride to the station aboard a Soyuz TMA-9 capsule, along with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin and Spanish-born US astronaut Miguel Lopez-Alegria. She will spend 10 days at the station before returning to Earth with its current crew, Pavel Vinogradov and Jeff Williams, who have been on board since April 1.