More Ansari coverage

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Anousheh Ansari’s flight is approaching, so the media coverage is ramping up:

First, though, something important: Tuesday is her 40th birthday, and she got birthday greetings, from, among others, Roskosmos head Anatoly Perminov, who “wished her a happy birthday and success in carrying out the flight program and good luck,” according to Interfax.

As you may already know, Ansari has her own web site, where she calls herself “First Female Private Space Explorer & Space Ambassador”. She also has a blog, where her latest entry describes her birthday, spent in quarantine in advance of her flight. Lots of flowers, but limitations on what she can do: “I think I know how Martha Stewart felt in her minimum security prison.”

Ansari doesn’t plan to lounge around the station, looking out the window while listening to music: she’s agreed to be a test subject for four ESA experiments during her stay on the ISS, including studies of radiation effects, bacteria, anemia, and lower back pain.

Finally, Alan Boyle has an extensive interview with Ansari about her upcoming flight, touching on a wide range of issues. About her “ambassador” role: “The most important part of my role as an ambassador is to educate everyone about space and the importance of space, and space exploration and space sciences. One way I imagine doing this through my trip is by recording every second of my experiences, either through video, pictures or audio.” (Well, not every second, we hope; there is that whole space toilet thing we can probably skip.) Ansari also talks about her financial support of Space Adventures’ development of the Explorer suborbital vehicle for space tourism, declining to be pinned down to a start date other than that they “are shooting for” two to three years from now. She also states that the medical condition that grounded Daisuke Enomoto (and thus giving her a chance to fly) is apparently treatable, allowing him another chance to fly at some point in the future.

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