A Reminder of Man's Ability to Dream Big

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Submitted by Jameson on Sun, 2011-04-03 01:27

Astrochemist Tracy Caldwell Dyson aboard the International Space Station.

Space Tourist

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While I was hunting down this photo I stumbled across this story about Anousheh Ansari, the fourth Space Tourist, the first Muslim in space, and the first woman to use her own money to help mankind take another giant leap.

"... Ansari's left Iran at the age of 16 just a few years after the Islamic Revolution, in part because her family wanted her to pursue her passion for the sciences to the fullest extent possible.

When she arrived, she knew next to no English except for a few verses from the song "My Favorite Things," from the film "The Sound of Music."

But within the next several years, Ansari had taught herself English, earned a university degree and landed a job at MCI earning a little more than $26,000. There she met her husband.

She and her husband soon quit their jobs at MCI, cashed in their retirement savings, and ran up their credit cards to finance a telecommunications company they opened."

In 2000, they sold that company for more than half-a-billion dollars to Sonus Networks Inc. A year later, Fortune magazine estimated her personal wealth at about $180 million dollars...

Ansari has invested heavily into her fascination with space. She and another relative put up a significant portion of the $10 million reward for the winner of the Ansari X Prize. The X Prize was awarded to the first private company to build a rocket capable of two manned suborbital flights.

While her journey is about fulfilling her childhood dream, Ansari also plans to use her experience to help with a project to develop suborbital spacecraft. She hopes the project will make space travel more affordable and accessible to more people."

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