Anousheh Ansari is an Iranian-Americanengineer and co-founder and chairwoman of Prodea Systems.
The Ansari family is also the title sponsor of the Ansari X Prize. On September 18, 2006, a few days after her 40th birthday, she became the first Iranian in space.
Ansari was the fourth overall self-funded space tourist, and the first self-funded woman to fly to the International Space Station. Her memoir, My Dream of Stars, co-written with Homer Hickam, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2010.
In 1993, she persuaded her husband, Hamid Ansari, and her brother-in-law, Amir Ansari, to co-found Telecom Technologies Inc, using their savings and corporate retirement accounts, as a wave of deregulation hit the telecommunications industry.