Anousheh Ansari Space Blog

A quick note

… responding to these comments on “Training in Backup”

2. hi dear Anousheh , my name is Anousheh too ! and i am from IRAN too! one years ago , i found your site in google and i am very happy that your name in ANOUSHEH! because in IRAN ,this name is very limited,now.
i hope that your tour will well and i am very happy that knowing you.
if you like email for me and you know i will happy so much …so much and so much..
Anousheh M Majlesi

Comment by anousheh — September 13, 2006 @ 5:57 pm

Hi Anousheh,

I’m happy to know another Anousheh as well. Our name is indeed rare in Iran, or anywhere else for that matter. But I have to say everyone likes our name when they hear it. Especially here in Russia, our name has been a big hit. They have a similar name and to them it sounds very sweet and endearing. Do you know what Anousheh means :-)?

35. I was there during the two milestone runs in the Mojave, when Burt Rutan set the marker for the rest to take heed. I remember Burt’s speech afterwards, in particular his clever word-play on NASA (the Nay Sayers!). It was all encapsulated so perfectly. As I sat there, fluttering through my cue cards, I was reminded of a great story that was poignant then, and still resonates in light of Ms. Ansari’s choice today:

When Christopher Columbus neared the West Indies, his ships were well within eyesight for many days. Meanwhile, the natives on land would fish in the same ocean, swim and bathe, never taking into their reality that the ships were looming closer, just at the horizon line. How could they? They had never SEEN a ship before. The concept of such a thing was SO remote in their minds that they literally could not SEE it in their scope of the world.

But there was one native who was beginning to feel a stir in the air. He couldn’t quite focus on it, but his innate connection to his surroundings compelled him to take a sabatical to the shoreline. There he sat, and meditated, all the while searching in his soul for the thing he felt but could not see. And on the third day, he opened his eyes, and woke the village with it.

The medicine man turned to a fisherman, and he asked him: “Do you see that? Those vessels coming our way?”

The fisherman was confused, but would not dare dispute the medicine man’s vision. “Maybe. I don’t know. Wait. What are those crosses in the water?”. And it swelled like a brushfire. By the end of the afternoon, everyone in the village could SEE the ships. Suddenly, the massive ships that rowed forward with each passing wave, ignored by the natives who had no previous knowledge of them, came to form. Their spectrum of possibility was broadened that day, and the world would never be the same…

I don’t know if how I’m relating this story makes any sense, only that it took ONE PERSON to see, for everyone to acknowledge. In short, we don’t recognize what we don’t know. So when I see someone, a human being just like any other, walking along that seemingly impossible path, it suddenly makes it plausible to me. Why not space? It begins with that first step.

Anousheh, you’re taking that first step for yourself, while leaving behind a path for us to someday follow. I’m exhilarated with the possibilities that will be discovered, and the new world that your dreams have opened for us.

Humanity should be so grateful.

Comment by Ray Izad-Mehr — September 14, 2006 @ 4:47 am

I must say your analogy was beautiful… Thank you… It made me think of one my favorite books: “The Tipping Point.” I hope with the help of all you bloggers we would bring about the tipping point for a new world where dreams can come true, where people live together with understanding and peace, and where Space Travel is an everyday commute 🙂

p.s., you may enjoy one of my favorite quotes: “Space isn’t that far – it’s only an hour’s drive if your car could go straight up.” — Sir Fred Hoyle