Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Anousheh - they should be paying her $20 M

Anousheh Ansari, the International Space Station's fourth civilian space explorer or space tourist, may just be using the visit as the next stepping stone in her continued contribution to the commercial space industry. She is pictured at right on the ISS, blogging and doing email, just as on Earth and here is the picture that will sell a thousand space flights.

Ansari sponsored the Ansari X Prize with Peter Diamandis which has turned into the multi-event annual X Prize Cup and her commercial space venture capital activities include twenty sub-orbital space craft on order from Russia. Ansari-sponsored companies may join Virgin Galactic in offering commercial space flights from Spaceport America in New Mexico which is scheduled to open for commercial space flights in 2008. The current status of the spaceport is that an FAA environmental study is in-process and due to be completed by the end of 2006 after which construction could begin.

At minimum, Ansari is helping space travel to become more routine in the minds of many and as a pioneer and entrepreneur; hopefully she is thinking about how to make space exploration cheaper, more accessible, quicker and more comfortable for the hundreds that will follow. More than the other civilian space explorers to date, Ansari is positioned to extend her experience into a broader opportunity.