Anousheh Ansari Space Blog

September 18, 2006

Launch -30 minutes

Filed under: Personal Spaceflight — by X PRIZE @ 3:36 am

At L-3 hours, in a small room, Anousheh and Expedition 14 crew members Astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin are being suited up in their Sokol spacesuits. Once inside the special form-fitting pressure suit, they are asked to sit in a duplicate of the seat that they will sit in during their ascent to orbit. I’ve had the chance to sit in a Soyuz launch seat once while touring Star City. It is extremely cramped, your knees pulled close-up into your chest. I’m sure getting out of the suit is very much a relief once you reach orbit.

I’ve been watching Anousheh’s preparation non-stop on NASA TV, both on the web and on Direct TV. She’s all smiles, having a blast, laughing, throwing kisses and waves to her family. Across the room through a glass window you can see the crowd of visitors and press watching the final preparation. Anousheh’s husband Hamid, and her sister Atousa are watching and waving. Also in the front row is Rex Geveden, the senior NASA representative.

After about an hour of suiting up, the three cosmonauts are seated in front of the glass window to face their friends, family, and the media – once last chance to say thank you and goodbye. The head of the Russian Space Commission has just arrived on the “public side” of the window and informed the Cosmonauts that the Shuttle has completed its activities on orbit and is now ready to undock, making ready for the Soyuz to launch.

A few minutes later, the three cosmonauts have walked out the pre-flight integration facility and into the bus that will carry them to the Soyuz Booster. Anousheh is the first to get onboard. Her smile is wider than ever! She looks happy, confident and doesn’t look scared in the least!

Onward to the Stars!

— Peter

Live on NASA TV

Filed under: Personal Spaceflight — by X PRIZE @ 3:15 am

NASA TV is showing pre-launch preparations. Live coverage begins in 15 minutes.

September 17, 2006

… please note

Filed under: space-blog — by X PRIZE @ 11:39 pm

Comments may take some time to be published here, but no need to repeat yourself 🙂 — they are all being received.

-Ground Ops

Launch -8 Hours

Filed under: Personal Spaceflight — by Peter @ 10:23 pm

Anousheh thanks for sharing your feelings on launch day. I can’t imagine you could possibly go to sleep today! I remember reading in Charles Lindbergh’s autobiography about the difficulty he faced the evening of May 19th, 1927, knowing that he would make a trans-Atlantic one-person journey the next morning. As I sit at home in Los Angeles, on the other side of the planet, at L-8 hours, I have to admit I’m nervous. I wish I could be there.

The Day Has Come

Filed under: Space Explorer — by Anousheh @ 3:09 pm

I’m hours away from my flight…

It is hard to believe that I’m here. It is still all a daze…

It is hard to explain my feelings… a strange mix of excitement and anxiety. Strangely enough my anxiety is for those who await me here on Earth. My family… I know how hard this must be on them. I must say I’m not enjoying this stage of it all. I just want to get the launch behind me and start floating in the wonderful weightlessness of space.

In a way I think that when I start floating I will be free from all fears, all anxieties, all expectations… It willl only be me… free from it all…

As I await this wonderful moment of weightlessness, everything here is starting to weigh more… I can feel the pressure of the air I’m breathing on my chest and it is getting heavier… It feels like waiting in a doctor’s office for the test results.

Everyone told me Greg Olson was incredibly calm on the day of his flight. I asked Greg how could he keep himself so calm. He said that when he was sitting there, inside the Soyuz, he knew for sure that he would be flying and no one could stop him anymore. No more doctors, no more exams, no more ceremonies… I cannot wait to get there…

I had to take a break from writing, to go visit my family. They were all here… As soon as we saw each other behind the glass wall the tears started rolling down. It was hard for everyone. My sister Atousa was trying hard to be the strong one and fighting her tears but there was no use fighting it. After we got the crying out of the way, we continued to talk and joke around and I felt everyone was getting more at ease. I certainly was. All the butterflies from the morning were gone.

I know I will be back soon and will be able to hug them all and tell them all about my trip. My brother-in-law Amir was focusing on taping the whole event and my husband Hamid was being the coordinator of the group and keeping his mind off the flight. I looked in his eyes and saw love and admiration mixed with anxiety…

We said our goodbyes since I will only get a glimpse of them on my way to the rocket. It is almost 7 pm Baikonur time and I was supposed to sleep an hour ago. They will come to wake us up at 1:00 am to prepare and head out for the launch pad.

I feel very calm and content… a sort of a Zen-like feeling… It is all going to be fine…

I want to thank you all for following along with me and thank you for all your kind and supportive words… I was never a very social person and have only a handful of close friends. I feel like in a matter of a week I have new friends all over the world and I look forward to telling you all about the ride up to the ISS.

I will be signing off now for a couple of days since the internet onboard the Soyuz is not working 😉 But my husband and Peter will be reporting on my activities from the ground.

Live Long and Prosper my friends –

L-1 24 Hours to Launch

Filed under: Personal Spaceflight — by X PRIZE @ 6:08 am

and less than 10 hours to Expedition 14/Ansari Final Pre-Launch News Conference Replay on NASA TV

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