By: Mir M.Hosseini
45 years after Russian Gagarin became the first person to reach space, Anousheh Ansari, an Iranian-American businesswoman reached space at the age of 40 and became the first Muslim woman and the first Iranian in space. Ansari lifted off on the Soyuz TMA-9 mission on Monday September 18, 2006 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Her significant success inspired many people in Iran and specially in the Muslim world.
In 1993, she set up a telecommunications company which was sold for hundreds of millions of dollars and part of the fortune went into funding her interest in the space industry. Anousheh was also wearing the Iranian flags on her space suit acknowledging her roots. She left Iran at the age of 16.
She is currently working towards enabling social entrepreneurs to bring about radical change globally, with organizations such as X Prize, ASHOKA and the PARSA Community Foundation.