Ansari: the difficulties of being a female space tourist

Getting accepted by the training staff at Star City was a particular challenge of Anousheh Ansari in her bid to fly in space, she said in an interview with the Collegiate Times, the campus newspaper of Virginia Tech, where Ansari spoke last night. Ansari explained that the staff at Star City was not used to training female cosmonauts, given that there are virtually none in Russia. “Having a woman was a big adjustment for all of them and they were not so welcoming at the beginning,” Ansari said. “All throughout my life I learned that I just do what I think is right and go after what I want and just do my best and usually the people change their minds. They saw my passion and how excited I was, and my excitement finally transferred to them and they were excited for me. I felt welcome after about the first month and a half.” (Presumably, though, the training personnel there were used to female American astronauts like Susan Helms and Peggy Whitson, who both flew long-duration missions to the ISS before Ansari.)

Ansari didn’t offer much in the new of new insights or developments in her interview there. Asked if she would like to go to space again, she said, “I would love to. I loved being in space and I felt at home. If I get another opportunity to do it, I will.”

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