Anousheh Ansari seen shortly after returning to earth from her 2006 space flight.
Anousheh Ansari seen shortly after returning to earth from her 2006 space flight. MISHA JAPARIDZE/AP
As NASA enjoys the final mission of its space shuttle program, Tell Me More has been speaking with astronauts and other pioneers of space exploration who have broken new ground. Host Michel Martin speaks with Anousheh Ansari for the final installment of the series "Flying High: First In Their Class."
Anousheh Ansari, like many, dreamed of traveling to space in her childhood. And though she didn't pursue it as a career, this passion of hers has become a huge part of her life. She made a fortune for herself as a telecommunications entrepreneur, and used around $20 million of her money to buy a seat on a flight to the International Space Station with a Russian crew on a Soyuz space craft. In addition to becoming the first woman to pay for a space flight (which is what some refer to as space tourism,) she is also the first Iranian American to fly in space, and the first person to blog from the International Space Station.
She continues to be involved in funding research efforts to make commercial space flight more viable and efficient.