Anousheh Ansari, the world’s first Muslim woman in space

Anousheh Ansari, the world’s first Muslim woman in space, speaks out on achieving her dreams and creating technology that empowers others to do the same.
In a week where we’ve celebrated some incredible UK-based women in tech, we’re pleased to report that women are leading the way across the globe too.
When Anousheh Ansari, an Iran-born, US-based businesswoman, rocketed from earth back in 2006, she became not only the world’s first Muslim woman in space, but the first woman to get there using her own funds. As well as conducting experiments herself, Ansari sent the first-ever blog post from the International Space Station.
“You have to be persistent and patient,” said Ansari, when speaking about her space exploration to Tech in Asia: “Women sometimes start believing they’re not meant to do something, especially when there are cultural or family restrictions where they live, so they put that limitation on themselves.”
“It’s important not to forget, to always be prepared.”
Anoushesh is well-established on the tech scene, starting her first internet telecommunications company back in 1993, the year of the first web browser, and later co-founding device-connecting platform Prodea Systems in 2006.
Now, in a new inspiring project, the computer scientist is using her company’s innovative technology to further empower people in remote and rural areas in India.
“I go to rural Rajasthan, and there’s a 4G network,” Ansari said. But many people don’t have the devices to access the internet, she explained.
The entrepreneur is now currently rolling out technology that turns TVs into two-way communication screens with internet access.
This will enable people to connect to services they were previously excluded from such as government benefits and advice about agriculture and entrepreneurship, she explained.
In line with the vision of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, it’s only a matter of time before the internet is accessible by all.