Iranian-born Anousheh Ansari made history last thursday, when she became the first Muslim woman to reach the International Space Station on board Russian Soyuz spacecraft along with two astronauts.
Ansari is also the world’s first female space tourist. She accompanied NASA’s Michael Lopez-Alegria and Russia’s Mikhail Tyurin.
The three blasted off on Monday from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Their TMA-9 space vehicle docked successfully with the ISS at 0521 GMT.
Ansari, who owns a telecom company in the US, paid $20 million to make her space dream come true after a six-month course of Russian language and cosmonaut at the Gagarin centre in Stellar City near Moscow.
The first muslim man in space was Prince Sultan ibn Salman ibn ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Al Sa’ud of Saudi Arabia who traveled to space aboard a NASA space shuttle in 1985.