Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Space tourist woman

A US-based Iranian businesswoman, Anoushe Ansari, will travel into space as the world's fourth space tourist, instead of Japan's Daisuke Enomoto who has been ruled unfit to make the trip into space.

Russian Federal Space Agency announced on Monday it had decided, on the result of a medical test, not to take Enomoto aboard the Soyuz spacecraft set to be launched on September 14.

Enomoto, a 35-year-old former Livedoor Co. executive, had been undergoing training for the trip into space in Moscow, where he currently resides.

In an entry on his Web site dated on Monday, Enomoto wrote, "Twenty-four more days until space. Two days of training left. I went to the hospital for a CT scan, which they said was the last test." Under Enomoto's 20-million-dollar contract, he had been scheduled to spend about one week on the International Space Station.

Ansari, a 39-year-old businesswoman, who will be the first female civilian space adventurer, has indicated she's ready and eager to make the trip.

Whether she will also be ready to operate the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) gear to make contacts with Earth is not known.

Ansari is the co-founder -- with her husband and brother-in-law -- of Telecom Technologies -- acquired in 2000 by Sonus Networks Inc -- and the investment firm Prodea Inc.

The Soyuz TMA-9 flight will carry ISS Expedition 14's NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, KE5GTK, and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, RZ3FT, to the space station.

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