On September 18, 2006, Anousheh Ansari captured headlines around the world as the first female private space explorer. Anousheh earned a place in history as the fourth private explorer to visit space and the first astronaut of Iranian descent.
Anousheh is a serial entrepreneur and co-founder and chairman of Prodea Systems, a company that will unleash the power of the Internet to all consumers and dramatically alter and simplify consumer’s digital living experience.
Anousheh has always dreamed of traveling to space, and while she is extremely excited to realize this dream, she is also focused on sharing her experience with others. Her main objective for this mission is to become a Space Ambassador, and help to bring the space travel experience to others.
Anousheh Ansari (Persian: انوشه انصاری, born 12 September 1966) is the Iranian-American co-founder and chairman of Prodea Systems, Inc and a spaceflight participant with the Russian space program. Her previous business accomplishments include serving as co-founder and CEO of Telecom Technologies, Inc. (TTI). The Ansari family is also the title sponsor of the Ansari X PRIZE. On September 18, 2006, a few days after her 40th birthday, she became the first female Muslim and first Iranian in space. Ansari is the fourth overall self-funded space tourist, and the first self-funded woman to fly to the International Space Station.
Born Anousheh Raissian in Mashhad, Iran, Ansari and her parents moved to Tehran shortly afterward. Ansari witnessed the Iranian Revolution in 1979. She emigrated to the United States in 1984 as a teenager.