Anousheh Ansari Space Blog

September 23, 2006

Call from Orbit

Filed under: Personal Spaceflight — by Peter @ 8:22 pm

This afternoon I received my “longest distance call” ever! — a call from Anousheh on orbit.

My cell phone display showed a 281 area code, which is the area code for Johnson Space Center. I answered and heard Anousheh’s happy voice. “Hello Peter! This is Anousheh calling from ISS.” This time I was all smiles.

We spoke about how much fun she’s having, flipping and floating and looking out the window. She had always been jealous of how much zero-g time I had amassed on Zero Gravity Corporation’s G-Force One… about 7.5 hours total, 30 seconds at a time. But now Anousheh has blown me away in zero-g time!

Anousheh is thrilled about the space blog and how many people are logging in to read every day. Many thanks to Robin Snelson for doing an awesome job!

We spoke about how her experience is evolving her thoughts about personal spaceflight… what a private space station might look like, and our future need for an Orbital X PRIZE and a Lunar X PRIZE. We also spoke about how grateful she is to Space Adventures for making her trip possible.

I asked her if she had seen the Moon out the window yet, and she said no but she would try to find it. We laughed that she made it to orbit first, but I am going to try to be first to the lunar surface.

Thanks for calling Anousheh. Have a blast for me and everyone else too!

- Peter H. Diamandis (Chairman, X PRIZE Foundation).

Following Anousheh

Filed under: Personal Spaceflight — by Peter @ 7:28 pm

Thank you to everyone reading this blog and taking the time to share your thoughts and enthusiasm.

I guess I’m just like you are… excited, happy and inspired by Anousheh’s trip… and ready to go someday myself. The really cool thing about Anousheh’s flight and this blog is that she is one of us! A person with a dream! Whether you’re a young girl, a mom, an engineer, American, Iranian, from Dallas or just a dreamer… you can imagine taking this flight into space someday.

In the early days of the space program it was really the “fighter jock”… the person with the right stuff, who trained for a decade for a chance to fly, the person with a few PhDs in math and physics, or the test pilot…

But it doesn’t need to be that way. The same way that millions of people can explore the oceans, mountains or the rain forests, it’s time to make it possible to allow the general public to explore space. That’s what X PRIZE is all about. That’s why Space Adventures was created. That’s what Anousheh is doing… paving the path for many, eventually thousands, to follow in her footsteps.

There can be no doubt that it will happen, it’s only a matter of when. Humans have always explored — it is in our genes. When we find a new frontier, a few pioneers travel first… then the masses follow. Whether it was the European travels to the Americas, or the American Colonists opening the West… dreams, pioneers and eventually families followed. Space is no exception.

It is during our lifetimes that we will irreversibly open space for humanity. After all, everything that we hold of value on Earth… metals, minerals, real estate, and energy are in infinite quantities in space. I like to say that the Earth is a “crumb” in a supermarket filled with resources. The first Trillionaires will be made in space, but most importantly the resources to help humanity grow without destroying this precious planet we live on will be made available.

In reality, the greatest benefits for exploring space are not yet known… how could they be? To borrow from Sir Arthur C. Clarke, to try to pre-judge what we will discover in space is like asking the first colony of lungfish crawling onto land to predict fire. Fire is one of the most important technologies ever, but something totally unknown to the underwater dwellers.

What will be the equivalent of fire that humanity will discover as we travel toward the stars?

-Peter H. Diamandis (Chairman, X PRIZE)

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