Space tourist is back on Earth

Anousheh, Vinogradov and Williams seated at the landing siteSpace tourist Anousheh Ansari returned home yesterday from ten days in space to be greeted with a kiss.

The first female holidaymaker in orbit found her husband Hamid waiting for her when she landed in Kazakhstan in her Soyuz capsule.

A Russian official presented her with a bunch of red roses before she was carried in her reclining seat to a helicopter.

Star Trek fan Anousheh, 40, flew home from the International Space Station with astronauts Jeff Williams and Pavel Vinogradov who had completed a six month tour of duty in space.

They were all flown to the Star City training centre near Moscow where they will undergo tests and adjust to gravity once more. Nasa spokesman Rob Navias, who was also at the scene of the landing, said: “They’re all in very good shape.”

US tycoon Anousheh, who runs a home-technology company, Prodea Systems, in Texas, burst into tears before leaving the space station, she admitted in her blog – the first from space.

She had a last supper of smoked fish and fresh tomatoes while listening to Sting singing Fragile. And she broke down as she said goodbye to the station’s new crew, Mikhail Tyurin, Miguel Lopez-Alegria and Thomas Reiter.

She wrote: “You establish a bond up here that is hard to break. They took care of me like their own sister. They have made this trip so incredibly special for me that I’m sure I will never forget them.”

Anousheh, who took a trendy iPod with her on her trip, also listened to Enya and whistled Somewhere Over The Rainbow and My Favorite Things as she prepared to fly home.

The Iranian-born entrepreneur paid Virginia-based Space Adventures around $20 million for her trip into space.

The picture shows Anousheh, Vinogradov and Williams seated at the landing site. Photo: Nasa.

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.
Paul Sutherland

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Paul Sutherland

I have been a professional journalist for nearly 40 years. I write regularly for science magazines including BBC Sky at Night magazine, BBC Focus, Astronomy Now and Popular Astronomy. I have also authored three books on astronomy and contributed to others.

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