International Space Travel Should Inspire More Collaboration Back on Earth

Published on October 18, 2017

Anousheh Ansari – Key Insights Driving the Future of Quality of Life for Workers in Atypical Environments

Successful international collaboration in space is a metaphor for what could and should happen back on earth when it comes to tackling challenges facing the international community. “Perhaps we should hold the next United Nations (General) Assembly on the Space Station,” Anousheh Ansari said. “We might come back with better policies,” she added.

Ansari said that ever since she was growing up in Iran it had been her ambition to go into space. She drew pictures of space ships and told family and friends that she was determined to travel to the stars. Adults took it for a childish dream, but she showed them otherwise. On September 18, 2006, she became the first female Muslim in space, the first Iranian-born person in space, aboard the International Space Station.

I believe in being the change you want to see in the world.

No Small Undertaking

“I am one of those people who likes to prove people wrong, so I had to make sure I did it,” she said. Going into space is no small undertaking and she takes offense when people speak of “space tourists.” It took about a year of arduous training.

Space is definitely an atypical place to work, she explained, and working in space takes a lot of preparation and sacrifice. “People who work in the industry don’t see it as a job; it is a passion,” she said.

The Space Station is a very isolated environment, with people working far from their families. It is also a time for reflection, allowing space travelers to appreciate the extraordinary beauty all around. Experiments carried out aboard benefit life back on earth.

People who work in the (space) industry don’t see it as a job; it is a passion.

More Accessible

Space is becoming more accessible, with sub-orbital flights forecast for next year. “It will become more and more accessible, more available. As we become more of a space-traveling species, we may change,” she said. “One thing is for sure, the Pandora’s Box is open, and perhaps Sodexo will be thinking of the quality of life on Mars in the future.”