First Female Private Space Explorer & Space Ambassador?
Anousheh Ansari, chairman and co.
-founder of Prodea Systems, Incclient:SpaceAdventures.com
Anousheh Ansari, has been officially named to the Soyuz TMA-9 primary crew. The first female spaceflight participant will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September 14, 2006 en route to the International Space Station (ISS) along with the Expedition 14 crew members: NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin.
In her down time, Mrs. Ansari will chat with ham radio operators and maybe even hold a news conference
while she's in orbit 220 miles above Earth.
If I were in the State Department, I probably couldn't be sure what her political leanings were, and I might have some concern and maybe even be nervous about what messages she will be sending. Notice that her personal mission patch for the ISS has an Iranian Flag next to the American Flag.
Earlier today, the Iranian born, Plano, Texas citizen's webpage stated that one of her goals as the "first space ambassador" was, "...To promote peace and understanding as a representative for millions of Iranians that, given the right opportunities, can achieve their dreams."This goal was excised from the website sometime this afternoon.
Could this be part of why there was concern about a "traffic jam" if the Shuttle was still docked when she arrived?
Is the title of "Space Ambassador" a self proclaimed annointment or is this quasi-official? Who does she represent? And who is she representing to?
From what I've read about her in the Texas press, she will probably have the grace and demeanor to not insert any sensitive political commentary into the program that might seem to undermine the cooperation of nations in space or on the earth.
Labels: ISS, NASA