Alumna Ansari Returns Safely from Space Adventure

Posted: September 29, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Colleen Kearney Rich

In one of her videos from the International Space Station (ISS), Mason alumna Anousheh Ansari, BS Computer and Electrical Engineering ’89, spoke about how touched she was by the many e-mails and words of encouragement posted on her blog during her time in space. “Some of them even made me teary eyed,” she said.

Ansari arrived at ISS on Wednesday, Sept. 20, as part of the three-member Soyuz TMA-9 crew and safely returned to Earth on Friday, Sept. 29, around dawn, Moscow time.

Ansari traveled to the space station as part of Expedition 14, but returned with members of Expedition 13: NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov, who completed a six-month mission at the space station. Ansari’s husband, Hamid, met the astronauts after the Soyuz landed in Kazakhstan.

Sharing her experience and encouraging an interest in space travel among young people were two of Ansari’s goals with this trip. In her blog, she provided a humorous view of space travel, including how difficult it is to wash one’s hair with zero gravity. “Now I know why people keep their hair short in space,” she wrote.

It has been reported that almost 10 million people have visited Ansari’s blog and left her messages in a variety of languages. “I am very much enjoying each and every one of them,” she said, encouraging people to keep writing.

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