Will Replace Japanese Businessman On Next
You could almost say it was written in the stars. Well, that's a
bit trite, but there's no denying that fate smiled on Anousheh
Ansari, who was selected Tuesday to replace Daisuke Enomoto as the
next "space tourist".
She'll fly onboard the next Russian Soyuz flight to the
International Space Station, as the first-ever female space
Ansari -- yes, that Ansari, part of the brother-sister
team who funded 2004's Ansari X-Prize -- will launch from Baikonur
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September 14, along with ISS
crewmembers Mikhail Tyurin and Miguel Lopez-Alegria.
As Aero-News reported earlier this
year, Ansari was originally set to fly to the ISS
sometime in 2007 -- with Enomoto set to fly in September. That was
before the Japanese businessman was stripped of flight privileges
this week due to undisclosed medical reasons, however -- and at
this writing, it was not known if he would be able to fly at
Bad news for Enomoto is good news for Ansari, however -- who has
been training in Houston and Russia in preparation for her 10-day
trip to the ISS.
"Anyway you can fly me, I'll go," she said in an interview last
month in Houston, according to the BBC.
The sudden change in plans may present some complications for
Ansari, however. For one, it's not yet known if she'll be able to
bring her own meals with her -- as Enomoto sent his food ahead on
the last Progress module. Same goes for his spacesuit.
We doubt she'll mind, though.