Just after 1am PT, the hatch between the Soyuz TMA-9 and ISS was opened and a very happy, still smiling Anousheh Ansari floated aboard wearing her Ansari X PRIZE hat! (Thanks for the show of support Anousheh!). I’m hopeful that she’ll soon be ready to log on and share some of her personal thoughts and feelings from orbit.
I just heard the following from my friend NASA Associate Administrator Rex Geveden, senior NASA Representative currently in Russia, “Greetings from Moscow! Just left TSuP for the Star City docking celebration. We spoke with the crew a little while ago, and everyone looked just great. Anousheh’s charm and intelligence are evident even from orbit.”
As Anousheh entered ISS, she brought onboard her “carry-on” allocation of 10 KG. Besides an X PRIZE flag and hat, she also is also carrying a number of artifacts which flew aboard SpaceShipOne — to my knowledge, these are the only items ever to fly both on a suborbital and orbital flight. The list of items includes:
A physical piece of composite materials taken off of SS1
Two SS1 mission patches which had previous flown about the two winning Ansari X PRIZE sub-orbital flights.
And a number of first day covers (for you stamp collectors) that were flown on SS1 and canceled in Mojave on October 4th.
Congratulations Anousheh, you made it! We’re looking forward to hearing from you!