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Ansari First Person To Be Granted An Honorary Doctorate While In Space

Twenty Million dollars doesn't just get you a diploma in space - it gets you a doctorate! Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Strasbourg, France (SPX) Oct 06, 2006
The International Space University (ISU) awarded Anousheh Ansari an Honorary Doctor of Space Achievement degree last week as she orbited the Earth over two hundred miles above the Pacific Ocean. ISU develops the future leaders of the world space community by providing interdisciplinary educational programs to students and space professionals in an international, intercultural environment.

ISU also serves as a neutral international forum for the exchange of knowledge and ideas on challenging issues related to space and space applications.

Since its founding in 1987, ISU has graduated more than 2500 students from 92 countries. ISU grants two Masters degrees: a Masters in Space Studies, and a Masters in Space Management. It also conducts short programs lasting from one day to two weeks, and annual interdisciplinary 9-week Space Studies Programs (SSP) at universities around the world that are selected to serve as SSP hosts. For 2007, this program (SSP07) will be held at Beihang University in Beijing, China from Monday, June 25 to Friday, August 24, 2007.

Connected by voice link with Mrs. Ansari, ISU President Michael K. Simpson conferred the degree as the University's faculty, staff, and Masters Degree Students looked on.

As the International Space Station sped along at over 17,000 miles an hour, Dr. Simpson recognized Mrs. Ansari for her pioneering work not only as the first woman to achieve the dream of private space travel, but also as a leader with the X-Prize Foundation and as a dynamic advocate for increasing opportunities for private access to space.

"We were honored to add this honorary degree to the private astronaut status Mrs. Ansari earned through this historic flight," Dr. Simpson said. "What we honor is the intellect, energy, vision, and leadership that she has focused on the cause of helping humanity reach out into space."

Civilian Space explorer, Dr. Ansari, who began her journey into space in mid-September aboard a Soyuz TMA-9 capsule launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, has become an inspiration to people around the world spending 10 days working education and outreach programs from the International Space Station.

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Ares I Crew Launch Vehicle First Stage Contract Modification
Huntsville AL (SPX) Oct 06, 2006
NASA is extending a previous contract action with ATK Thiokol of Brigham City, Utah, to continue design and development of the first stage for the Ares I crew launch vehicle. The extension has a maximum value of $35 million.

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