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Anousheh Ansari

Private Space Explorer; Founder, Prodea Systems

On September 18, 2006, Anousheh Ansari captured headlines around the world as the first female private space explorer. She was the fourth private explorer to visit space and the first astronaut of Iranian descent.

Ansari is also a serial entrepreneur and co-founder and chairman of Prodea Systems, a company that aims to simplify consumers' digital living experience. Prior to founding Prodea, Ansari served as co-founder, CEO and chairman of Telecom Technologies, Inc.

To help drive commercialization of the space industry, Ansari and her family provided title sponsorship for the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million cash award for the first non-governmental organization to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice within two weeks.

Ansari is a member of the X Prize Foundation’s Vision Circle, as well as its Board of Trustees. She is a life member in the Association of Space Explorers and on the advisory board of the Teachers in Space project.