More Soyuz Tourists
Space Adventures continues to fly space tourists aboard the Russian Soyuz.
On September 18, 2006, Anousheh Ansari, whose family sponsored the X-Prize, became the first woman to fly aboard the Soyuz as a space tourist. Working on behalf of the European Space Agency, she researched lower back pain, anemia and space radiation.
Charles Simonyi took part in two separate space flights to the ISS, one in 2007 and again in 2009. Notably, he contacted a number of schools via ham radio while aboard the station.
Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor spent 11 days in space in October 2007. The Malaysian orthopedic surgeon spent his time aboard the ISS researching the growth of cancer cells in the liver and blood stream. He also studied the protein lipase when crystallizing. Because Shiekh Muszaphar is a Muslim and the flight took place during Ramadan, specific concerns needed to be addressed. He helped develop a guidebook for future Muslims traveling to space, tackling issues such as locating Mecca for prayer and fasting with 90 minute day and night cycles.
The sixth space tourist, Richard Garriott traveled to the ISS in 2008. He has the distinction of being the first second-generation astronaut to go into space. His father flew aboard Skylab 3. While on the station, Garriott filmed the first science-fiction film shot in space called Apogee of Fear.
Guy Laliberte, the majority shareholder of Cirque Du Soleil, joined the ranks of space tourist with a flight that took place in September 2009. Using his status as a star, he brought attention to concerns over water and the oceans while aboard the ISS.