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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Sept 24, 2006 2:01:35 GMT -6
Space has a Unique Smell to it: Ansari
Space Tourist and Founder of the X prize is blogging her experience for all to read and enjoy. Here is an account of her first whiff of Space, whicj I find quite facinating...
"The time went by really slowly, but finally the moment arrived and they were ready to open the hatch. Mike and Misha called me closer and told me to take a good whiff because this would be the first time I would smell “SPACE.”
They said it is a very unique smell. As they pulled the hatch open on the Soyuz side, I smelled “SPACE.” It was strange… kind of like burned almond cookie. I said to them, “It smells like cooking” and they both looked at me like I was crazy and exclaimed:”Cooking!”
I said, “Yes… sort of like something is burning… I don’t know it is hard to explain…”
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Sept 25, 2006 5:46:50 GMT -6
Ansari Savoring Every Moment In Orbit
Washington (AFP) Sep 22, 2006 The world's first female space tourist, American national Anousheh Ansari, said she is savoring every bit of her time at the Space Station, despite the trip's hefty price tag. Ansari, 40, told reporters she has no regrets at a press conference broadcast from the International Space Station, responding to a reporter's question about the more than 20 million dollars she reportedly paid for the eight-day space tour.
"I am having a wonderful time here. It's been more than what I expected, and I am enjoying every single second of it. The entire experience has been wonderful up here," she said.
"But the favorite moment, as I suspected, was the moment I was able to see the Earth for the first time and see it as so beautiful and peaceful in the dark background, and it was a moment I will never forget."
Ansari, who lived in Iran until the age of 16, is only the fourth space tourist in history, but the first woman to take the extraordinary voyage.
She said she had experienced some spacesickness during the trip, however: "I did suffer a lot of the usual symptoms of being in orbit, like back pain, headache and motion sickness," she said.
But in her healthier moments, she has also had a chance to enjoy both Russian and American food at the space station.
"They are both really good, actually," she said. "Surprisingly very tasty."
Wednesday, Ansari checked into her quarters aboard the ISS, where she is staying along with five professional astronauts.
Ansari made millions in the telecom sector, and her family has gone on to invest in technology and space exploration, contributing 10 million dollars to the X Foundation, set up to encourage advances in human space flight.
She accompanied NASA's Michael Lopez-Alegria and Russia's Mikhail Tyurin to the ISS, and she is due to land in Kazakhstan on September 29, along with Jeffrey Williams and Pavel Vinogradov.
I have read some of the disparaging comments regarding the $20.000.000 best spent elsewhere some have left on Ansari's blog....and frankly the same tired and nonsensical rational used during the space race.
Do people actually think that suitcases of money are loaded in spacecrafts, launched into space and jettisoned? The money stays here on Earth and into the economy.
As for feeding the people. Yes a terrible thing to go hungry, but every cent of every budget could go into feeding the worlds population...but it would never get accomplished. The $20.000.000 that Ansari spent for her voyage would be spent in moments in attempt to feed the less fortunate. With the graft and corruption embedded in many causes and governments, the funds would be squandered in a blink... and nothing to show for it.
This is a population control issue, not a philanthropic one. Her money was well spent, and with it, we all benefit in someway or another.
Chicago Astronomer Joe Founder, Administrator and Chief Astronomer
Telescope/Observatory Docent Facilitator Adler Planetarium & Astronomy Museum
Astronomy Instructor Instituto Del Progresso/IHSCA
Astronomy Program Instructor British International School of Chicago /Lincoln Park Campus
Resident Astronomer Chicago Park District Nature Oasis/Night Out in the Parks/ 606 Trail
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Sept 29, 2006 23:33:47 GMT -6
First woman space tourist returns to Earth
The capsule carrying Iranian-born American Anousheh Ansari, Pavel Vinogradov of Russia and US astronaut Jeffrey Williams touched down softly Friday at 0114 GMT north of Arkalyk, shortly after sunrise. as saying. "Seeing the Earth from space will be forever etched in my mind."
The vessel left the ISS at 2153 GMT Thursday.
The capsule began a free-fall after entering the atmosphere, then was slowed by a pair of parachutes that deployed several kilometers (miles) above the earth.
An engine fired when the capsule was several meters from the ground, making for a soft landing.
A spokesman for the space center was quoted by Russian news agency ITAR-TASS as saying that helicopters and planes of the space service had successfully pinpointed the capsule while it was still in the sky.
Space service agents helped the cosmonauts out of the capsule and wrapped them in furs as temperatures at the landing site hovered around zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Farenheit).
A beaming Ansari was greeted by her husband, Hamid Ansari, who brought her a bouquet of red roses as she sat in a special chair to help her recover from weightlessness. "The experience was more than I had ever imagined. It has exceeded every expectation," Ansari was quoted by space tourism company Space Adventures
Ansari had spent eight days on the ISS while Vinogradov and Williams had spent 183 days there.