First woman to space


SpaceX First Woman Space Tourist Mission To The ISS


Summary: In this article we take a look at the accomplishments of the first Woman to Tour Space as well as the mission details and experiments she performed for the 10-day duration of her stay on the ISS (International Space Station). On the morning of the 18th September, 2006, the Soyuz TMA-9 successfully launched and exited the Earth’s atmosphere, making it’s way up to the target orbit of 200km above the Earth before docking with the International Space Station. Onboard the crew consisted of Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, and Anousheh Ansari, the first woman space tourist. Iranian-born American businesswoman, Ansari, emigrated from Iran to the U.S. in 1984 as a teenager, where she’d later attend George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, to earn a bachelor’s degree in electronics and computer engineering, and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from George Washington University. In 1993 she cofounded a Company, Telecom Technologies, Inc. with her husband, Hamid Ansari, and her brother-in-law.

Ansari’s interest in space exploration was prevalent even before she started her training. In 2002 she made a multimillion-dollar contribution to a NGO (nonprofit organization), X Prize Foundation, that manages competitions to encourages innovative solutions and advances in technology to benefit humanity. The contribution was used by the NGO to launch the Ansari X Prize, a competition between privately owned companies to launch reusable crewed spacecraft into space twice within the time period of two weeks. In 2004 the Ansari X Prize was won by Scaled Composites, a aerospace development company based in Mojave, California.

Ansari arranged to participate in a spaceflight program, and trained through the American space tourism company ‘Space Adventures’ to act as a backup for Daisuke Enomoto, a Japanese businessman and former livedoor executive. Unfortunately Enomoto was medically disqualified from flying the mission, elevating Ansari to prime crew, making her the fourth space tourist and the first woman space tourist. She was also the first Iranian, and first female Muslim in space. According to an article on wikipedia during an interview on Iranian national television for the astronomy show Night’s Sky a day before lift-off, she was asked what she hoped to accomplish on her mission.

“I hope to inspire everyone - especially young people, women, and young girls all over the world, and in Middle-eastern countries that do not provide women with the same opportunities as men - to not give up their dreams and to pursue them… It may seem impossible to them at times. But I believe they can realize their dreams if they keep it in their hearts, nurture it, and look for opportunities and to make those opportunities happen,” was her answer. On September 18th, 2006, under commander Mikhail Tyurin, the Soyuz TMA-9 lifted off into space before docking with the ISS on September 20th, 2006, where Ansari would spend nine days performing a series of four experiments concerning human physiology for the ESA (European Space Agency). These experiments included the following:

• A study on the mechanisms behind anemia

• The influence changes in various muscle groups have on lower back pain.

• What consequences may result from space radiation on ISS crew and various species of microbes.

On September 29th, at 01:13 UTC, she landed back safely on the surface of the Earth aboard the Soyuz TMA-8, 90 km north of Arkalyk at a place known as the steppes of Kazakhstan. Joining her back to Earth was U.S. astronaut Jeffrey Williams, and Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov. After landing they were transported via helicopter to Kustanai for the welcome ceremony. In 2010 Ansari participated as a speaker at the Honeywell Leadership Academy with Homer Hickam at United States Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. And on the 25th of April, 2013, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from Utah Valley University. She has also received multiple Honors and Awards for entrepreneurial excellence, and Telecom Technologies, Inc. earned recognition as one of Inc. magazine’s 500 fastest-growing companies under her leadership. In 2015, Ansari was Awarded the Space pioneer Award by the National Space Society for her service and contribution to the Space Community.

Till this day she continues to promote and inspire the next generation of astronauts, empowering especially young women in the middle-eastern countries to persue their dreams with what she told Iranian national television during her interviews. No matter what circumstances may hinder your dreams right now, there will always be a way to get back on the path to realizing your dreams if one can but be open-minded enough to see the opportunities.

 

 



 

Touring space mission one


Summary: Dennis Tito, was the world’s first space tourist funding his own trip. He spent nearly 8 days in space in mid-2001 as a crew member of the ISS EP-1. In this article we will be looking at the events that took place leading up to, and during the mission, and the future of space tourism.

Space Flight

Ever since the first spaceflight back in 1961 when Yuri Gagarin (first man in space) was launched into orbit on the Vostok 1, humans have been fantasizing with the idea of touring space. Within a few hours of the Russians sending the first human into orbit a whole new world of opportunity presented itself, but it won’t be until 2001 when the first space tourist, Dennis Tito, would become the first paying candidate for commercial spaceflight.

According to wikipedia the project was arranged by MirCorp, and Tito was accepted by the Russian Federal Space Agency, but was met with criticism from the American National Space Agency (NASA) believing it to be inappropriate to allow tourism in space. “…We will not be able to begin training, because we are not willing to train with Dennis Tito,” was the statement given by Robert D. Cabana, NASA manager at the time, after sending Tito and two other cosmonauts home.

Instead of giving up on his dream of touring space Tito made an arrangement with space tourism company ‘Space Adventures,’ an American space tourism company founded in 1998 by Eric C. Anderson, where he managed to get the training required for Tito’s first ever tour of space. Tito was then allowed to join the Soyuz TM-32 mission on April 28, 2001, becoming the first space tourist in history, before docking with the ISS (International Space Station).

MirCorp was initially seeking potential candidates for space tourism to the Mir space station in order to offset some of its maintenance costs, but later the decision was made to de-orbit Mir, Tito was forced to change his destination to the ISS instead through a deal with Space Adventures. Tito reportedly paid $20 million USD for his trip and spent 7 days, 22 hours, and 4 minutes in space orbiting around the Earth 128 times in the ISS, and doing several experiments, before undocking, and re-entering into the Earth’s atmosphere.

Dennis Tito was the first paying space tourist, but he wouldn’t be the last. A year after Tito’s trip he was followed by South African Mark Shuttleworth in the Soyuz TM-34 spacecraft, and then in October 2005, by Gregory Olsen in the Soyuz TMA-7.

The Soyuz Missions

The Soyuz spacecrafts was manufactured by Russian ballistic missile, spacecraft and space station components producing company, Korolev, also known as RSC Energia, and would regularly ferry cosmonauts to Mir and ISS before the Mir got de-orbitted.

The Soyuz TM-32 was the space craft charged with taking the first paying space tourist, Dennis Tito, along with a Russian, Yuri Baturin, and a Kazakh, Talgat Musabayev (the launching Commander on this mission), to space on April 28th, 2001.

Two days after the launch the Soyuz TM-32 docked at the ISS (International Space Station) where it would remain until October 31st of that year, serving as a lifeboat for Expedition 2, and later the crew of Expedition 3.

A lifeboat in the sense that if something were to happen on the ISS to trigger emergency evacuation procedures, like a sudden decompression, or a fire that may be the result of various events, the people onboard can use the Soyuz TM-32 space craft to escape from danger, and to get home safely. After the disaster of Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrating upon re-entry into the Earth’s Atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard, the Soyuz program was temporarily put on hold because Soyuz vehicles became the only available transport to the ISS until the return of the space shuttles in 2005. Space tourism resumed in 2006 when an Iranian American businesswoman named Anousheh Ansari became the fourth space tourist on the Soyuz TMA-10.

Since the Space Shuttle was retired in 2011, the Soyuz was once again forced to stop the space tourism project. However, on June 7th, 2019, NASA announced plans to open the ISS to be met with tourism once again.