Friday, September 29, 2006

I Went to Space and All I Got Was this Lousy Worm

Anousheh Ansari, the first female tourist in space, touched down in the Asian hinterlands of Kustanai, Kazakhstan. She got a kiss from her hubby, a dozen roses and a beaurocrat:
The first female paying space tourist, Anousheh Ansari, has landed on the Kazakh steppe after a journey back from the International Space Station (ISS).

The Soyuz capsule also carried fellow US astronaut Jeff Williams and Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov. It landed in the 56-mile (90km) predicted zone.

The craft slowed its descent by firing rockets and opening parachutes until it landed softly on its side in a field.

A dozen helicopter rescue teams rushed over to help the astronauts out.

Ms Ansari was given a bunch of red roses by an official as well as a kiss from her husband, Hamid.

All three astronauts were carried on reclining chairs to waiting helicopters. From Kustanai, Kazakhstan, they were to fly to a training centre outside Moscow.

Ansari paid 20 million dollars to go. Man, if she just waited a few years she could go for 200 grand. It's not like she did know that either:
Ahead of her lift-off, Ms Ansari said she was an ambassador for attracting private investment into space programmes. Her family sponsored the X-Prize, which honoured the first private vehicle to make it into space.
The X-prize went to SpaceShipOne which is in turn connected with Virgin Galactic who are looking at tourist space fleets.

Ansari did bring back a momento:
The space explorers brought back snails, worms and barley grown during experiments aboard the ISS.

And is is just me or does Virgin Galactic sound like a character from Buck Rogers?

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