During the day everyone is pretty busy with specific tasks assigned to each crew member by Mission Control in Moscow and Houston. The schedule is uplinked to the station with specific instructions for the activities as needed. There is a staff meeting call in the morning to make sure everything is clear, and another one at the end of the day to see what progress was made and to talk about the activities for the next day. Even weekends are not really weekends up here. The workload may be a little less, but there are still tasks to be done and systems to be repaired and educational programs to be completed.
At about 6:30 pm everyone gathers around the dining table in the Russian segment Service Module (SM). We heat up a few cans and hydrate some freeze dried food (soup, mashed potato, vegetables) and have a few laughs and share some space stories.
Anousheh Ansari brings more than two decades as a successful serial entrepreneur to Prodea Systems, where she serves as chairman. Anousheh is capturing headlines around the world as the first female private space explorer. On Sept. 18, she blasted off for an eight-day expedition aboard the International Space Station. Anousheh earned a place in history as the fourth private explorer to visit space, and the first astronaut of Iranian descent. While in space, she is conducting tests of Prodea Systems digital home technology.
An active proponent of world-changing technologies, Anousheh has dreamed of space exploration since childhood. Her family provided the title sponsorship for the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million cash award for the first non-governmental organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks. This feat was accomplished in 2004 by legendary aerospace designer Burt Rutan in 2004.
Prior to founding Prodea Systems, Anousheh served as co-founder, chief executive officer and chairman of the board for Telecom Technologies, Inc. After earning three key U.S. patents and growing the company to 250 employees with 100 percent sequential growth year over year since inception, the company successfully merged with Sonus Networks, Inc., a provider of IP-based voice infrastructure products.
A living example of the American dream, Anousheh immigrated to the United States as a teenager who did not speak English. She immersed herself in education, earning a bachelor’s degree in electronics and computer engineering from George Mason University, followed by a master’s degree in electrical engineering from George Washington University. She is currently working toward a master’s degree in astronomy from Swinburne University.
Anousheh is a member of the X Prize Foundation’s Vision Circle, as well as its Board of Trustees. She has received multiple honors, including the Working Woman’s National Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, George Mason University’s Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, George Washington University’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, and the Ernst & Young
Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Southwest Region. While under her leadership, telecom technologies earned recognition as one of Inc. magazine’s 500 fastest-growing companies and Deloitte & Touche’s Fast 500 technology companies.
In addition to her business achievements, Anousheh actively pursues ways to enable social entrepreneurs to bring about radical change globally. She has served on the boards of directors for Make-a-Wish Foundation of North Texas and Collin County Children’s Advocacy Center. She works with a number of other non-profit organizations, including the Ashoka Foundation in its support of social entrepreneurs.
What a remarkable person!