It’s a great day for space geeks everywhere, as Anousheh Ansari, sponsor of the Ansari X-Prize, telecom entrepreneur and all-around admirable woman, blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to rendezvous with the International Space Station. Yes, she paid $20 million to go as a tourist, but unlike some other potential applicant for the trip – whose closest approach to space was having his poster next to a bunch of glow-in-the-dark stars on many 12-year-old girls’ bedroom ceilings – she’s earned it.
Ms. Ansari will be blogging her 10-day jaunt, assuming she has the time. Aside from participating in some vaguely-described experiments about back pain, she’ll likely be goading the men into arm-wrestling matches, Lysoling the Space-o-Let (I’ll bet it’s disgusting) and studying the effects of weightlessness on potpourri. Seriously though, I wish her and her fellow voyagers, cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin and US astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria, a safe excursion and many happy returns. Same goes for all those other folks in orbit right now – space is currently more crowded than Whitney Houston’s paraphernalia drawer. So remember folks – use your turn signals and don’t go any faster than 17,000 miles per hour.