First female spaceflight participant to launch to the International Space Station next month as member of Soyuz TMA-9 crew

Vienna, Va. – August 25, 2006 – Space Adventures, Ltd., the world’s leading space experiences company, announced today that Ansari X Prize title sponsor, Anousheh Ansari, has been officially named to the Soyuz TMA-9 primary crew. The first female spaceflight participant will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September 14, 2006 en route to the International Space Station (ISS) along with the Expedition 14 crew members: NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin.

Mrs. Ansari began her cosmonaut training earlier this year in preparation for a future orbital spaceflight with Space Adventures.

“By reaching this dream I’ve had since childhood, I hope to tangibly demonstrate to young people all over the world that there is no limit to what they can accomplish,” said Anousheh Ansari, chairman and co-founder of Prodea Systems, Inc., a revolutionary digital home technology company that is sponsoring her efforts. “I’m thankful to both Space Adventures and Dice-K Enomoto for providing me this opportunity.”

“We are pleased to announce this historic event, the world’s first female space tourist, and are overjoyed that Anousheh is ready for flight. She has been training diligently for several months now and has been certified for flight,” said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures. “We celebrate Anousheh’s dedication in her spaceflight preparations and wish her a successful and awe-inspiring mission.”

Space Adventures has previously sent three private explorers to space. In 2001, American Dennis Tito fulfilled his dream of space travel, and in 2002, the ‘First African in Space’ Mark Shuttleworth launched and, last October, American Greg Olsen, took flight. Each client spent eight days aboard the ISS.

Space Adventures, the only company to have successfully launched private explorers to space, is headquartered in Vienna, Va. with offices in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Moscow and Tokyo. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for spaceflight missions to the International Space Station and around the moon, Zero-Gravity and jet flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts. The company’s advisory board includes Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, Shuttle astronauts Sam Durrance, Robert Gibson, Tom Jones, Byron Lichtenberg, Norm Thagard, Kathy Thornton, Pierre Thuot, Charles Walker, Skylab astronaut Owen Garriott and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachev. For more information, please visit

Erin Lundberg
Space Adventures, Ltd.
8000 Towers Crescent Drive, Ste. 1000
Vienna, Va. 22182
+1 703 524-7172 x546
Fax +1 703 524-7176