Iranian-born woman set for space tourist flight
An Iranian-born US businesswoman is tipped to become the first woman 'space tourist' to fly to the International Space Station (ISS).india Updated: May 08, 2006 18:59 IST
An Iranian-born US businesswoman is tipped to become the first woman 'space tourist' to fly to the International Space Station (ISS), Russian media reported on Monday.
Telecommunications manager Anousheh Ansari, who was born in 1967, may make a short flight to the orbiter next spring as part of a Russian crew, space officials told the Itar-Tass news agency.
If she joins the mission, the CEO of Telecom Technologies Inc would become the world's first Iranian-born space crewmember.
According to the Roskomos space agency, in February, Ansari passed the medical for enrolment at the Gagarin cosmonaut-training centre.
She has already been designated as the replacement for Japanese businessman Daisuke Enomoto, if he is unable to make his planned nine-day flight to the station this autumn.
The businesswoman is actively involved in private space travel, having funded the "Ansari X Prize" for the development of commercial spacecraft.
The reported cost of her flight is $20 million, the same amount paid by the first three commercial space travellers to the ISS.
US businessmen Dennis Tito and Gregory Olsen flew to the station in 2001 and 2005. South African Mark Shuttleworth visited the station in 2002.