Brains, bravery, business and beauty are rolled into one astonishing package in AnoushehAnsarithe form of Anousheh Ansari. This amazing lady has been to space, written a book, started an international communications business and speaks four languages! She is fluent in Persian, English, French and proficient in Russian. She is the fourth self-funded space traveler and the first self-funded woman to fly to the ISS.

Anousheh is an Iranian-born American who came to the States at 16 and pursued an education in electrical engineering and computer science at George Mason University (Bachelors of Science) and George Washington University (Masters). She is currently working on a Masters in Astronomy from Swinburne University.

She married her husband, Hamid Ansari, in 1991. Two years later she was working with her husband and brother in law, Amir to start Telecom Technologies. She ran the company until it was purchased by Sonus Networks in 2000, after which she became a VP there, later founding Prodea Systems in 2006 where she now works as CEO.

Anousheh has been interested in space and spaceflight since she was a child and she, along with Amir, donated several million dollars to the X Prize (officially renamed the Ansari X Prize) which offers a $10 million dollar award to anyone who can create and launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks and without any government funding. The hope of the prize is to spark innovation that will bring spaceflights to an affordable and accessible level for population.

Space will always be fascinating and I think it’s an admirable goal to try and make it more accessible to people. Hopefully her efforts will lead to the spark that starts that particular fire and we can all enjoy the world from the stars.

Thanks for stopping by!


Anousheh’s personal website:

You can check out her memoir here:

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