Country of origin: Iran
Anousheh Ansari (Persian: انوشه انصاری; née Raissyan; born September 12, 1966 in Mashhad, Iran) is an engineer and the Iranian-American co-founder and chairman of Prodea Systems. Her previous business accomplishments include serving as co-founder and CEO of Telecom Technologies, Inc. (TTI). 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.
* Ansari has expressed that she does not consider herself a "space tourist", and prefers the title of "spaceflight participant".
To read more about Anousheh Ansari, visit her page on Wikipedia or her official website.