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Anousheh Ansari: Astronaut & Entrepreneur Print E-mail
by Roman Kikta    Sun, Sep 9, 2007, 09:30 PM

Anousheh Ansari: astronaut, entrepreneur, technologist and philanthropist is the embodiment of the American dream. She is the co-founder and chairman of Plano-based Prodea Systems, Inc. In September 2006, Ms Ansari become the first female space tourist paying more than $20 million to travel for ten days to the International Space Station onboard the Russian Soyuz rocket. (She also became the first person to publish a weblog from space). Ms Ansari previously served as co-founder and CEO of Telecom Technologies, Inc. (TTI) which was acquired for approximately $750 million by Sonus Networks. She and her family is also the title sponsor of the Ansari X PRIZE. Ms Ansari is a member of the X PRIZE Foundation's Vision Circle, as well as its Board of Trustees. She was listed in the prestigious Forbes 40 under 40 in 2001, and was recognized by Working Woman magazine as the winner of the 2000 National Entrepreneurial Excellence award, and was a winner of the 1999 Ernst and Young "Entrepreneur of the Year" Award for the Southwest Region.

Ms Ansari candidly talks with DallasBlog about her dream of space which began as a small girl growing up in Iran, to the experience of the trip, the Russian space program, commercializing space travel, her views on entrepreneurship—what it takes to be successful and new opportunities. Ms Ansari's new dream is "to inspire everyone—especially young people, women, and young girls all over the world, and in Middle Eastern countries that do not provide women with the same opportunities as men—to not give up their dreams and to pursue them...It may seem impossible to them at times. But I believe they can realize their dreams if they keep it in their hearts, nurture it, and look for opportunities and make those opportunities happen."

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