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Telecommuting space tourist soaks in the views

Despite queasy start

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Anousheh Ansari said the trip up to the International Space Station (ISS) wasn't great fun, but that every moment since then has been fantastic. She described the first moment she saw Earth from the ISS as "beautiful and peaceful", something she would never forget.

Ansari is the first official female space tourist (there is some debate about this, see here for more of the finer details), and the first female Muslim in space. She is also the first Iranian to reach Earth orbit.

Her ride up to the ISS, courtesy of the Russian space programme, is said to have cost her $20m.

Speaking to reporters from the ISS, Ansari said the flight had been uncomfortable. She suffered from motion sickness, back pain, and a headache, she said. But "the entire experience has been wonderful up here," she added.

She also said she has been trying to keep on top of her office work while she has been aboard, and has been receiving status reports from her staff at Prodea Systems, the telecommunications company she co-founded.

ESA astronaut Thomas Reiter said it was always nice to have guests on the space station. ®

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