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Volume 17 –January 27, 2010


From the Desk of Anousheh Ansari

2010 is a new beginning for many. 2009 has been a trying year for many people, including some of you. For me, it has also been challenging in many different levels, but as I get to stand here and look back, I can say that I am a better person for it. There is a quote that I like from the movie Bottle Shock. In the movie, the owner of one of the CA vineyards is passing on his wisdom to a young eager intern. He says to her: "You want to limit the irrigation (of the grape vines). It makes the vine struggle and intensifies the flavor. A comfortable grape, a well-watered, well-fertilized grape grows into the lazy ingredient of a lousy wine."

As a new decade starts off with 2010 it brings with it the opportunity for a world without limits and filled with hope, peace, love and infinite exciting possibilities. What usually keeps us from pursuing new possibilities is the limitations we imagine in our head so as you start this new decade imagine a world without limits!

Questions Answered
Have you ever wondered what keeps clouds together? How to make grape plasma in the microwave oven? If light travels in a straight line why lightning bolts appear crooked? What are the possible ends of the universe? What is a white hole?

If you or anyone you know often find yourselves pondering the mysteries of the universe, here are a few of the websites answering your questions.  





Tweet with an Astronaut!
As featured in July 2009, there are complications and of course solutions to the Internet use and cyber-communications in Space. However as we advance more and more in this cyber age, we will witness more efficiency and direct routes in providing the same methods of communications in space as on Earth.

In the early morning of January 22, 2010, Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer sent the very first live tweet from the International Space station. Creamer is not the first astronaut tweeting from ISS. Last May, NASA astronaut Mike Massimino used the social network Tweeter from the space shuttle Atlantis while on a mission to repair and upgrade the Hubble.  However, his tweets were sent to NASA's mission Control and subsequently posted on Tweeter by engineers on the ground.

Only a few days ago, however, using a new software upgrade installed at ISS, Creamer posted the first unassisted update to his twitter account, @Astro_TJ, from the space station: " Hello Twittverse! We r now LIVE tweeting from the International Space Station -- the 1st live tweet from Sapce! :) More soon, send your?s"

Other than tweeting, this new upgrade grants personal access to internet and the World Wide web via the ultimate wireless connection.

To learn more please visit:



My Dream of Stars

My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer is the name of the book coming out March 2010. The book is written by Anousheh Ansari and Homer Hickam. Homer H Hickam, Jr., author, Vietnam veteran, and a former NASA engineer is the author of a number of best-selling memoirs and novels including his autobiographical and widely-read novel Rocket Boys, later made into the movie: October Sky.

In her memoir, Anousheh recalls her long path to success and to achieving her dream. She tells the readers of the prejudices and obstacles she had to overcome as well as her determination and hope, and the love and support that made it possible. It's Anousheh' s hope that her personal story would encourage and inspire people around the globe, especially the younger generation, to strive to overcome any barriers holding them back from their dreams.

To learn more about the book:
Spirit of Innovation and You!
The Spirit of Innovation Awards Program has selected 25 U.S. high school teams to compete in the finals for the 2010 Awards. This year's competition challenges students to develop new ideas in the areas of green schools, aerospace exploration, renewable energy and space nutrition.

The student finalist teams will present their products to world-level scientists, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists April 8-10, 2010 at the Innovation Summit taking place at NASA's Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley.

Beginning March 26, YOU,  the public, will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite teams and help select the People's Choice Award winners. To review each team and their projects, and more information please visit:



What If Competition!

The What If Competition 2009-2010 has officially started. 6th, 7th, and 8th graders who register would compete by writing an essay about how to help the crew of Space Peace Mission 1 (SPM-1) who are stranded in space. Registration deadline for teams and individuals is February 5, 2010 and all entries are due by February 19, 2010.  To Learn more about the prizes, rules, and other details please visit: http://www.whatifprize.org/  .

ISS Butterflies Competition
As the ISS butterfly experiment came to its conclusion with the butterflies completing their normal life spans, the National Space Biomedical Research Institute and the center for Educational Outreach at Baylor College of Medicine have announced a national student science poster competition.
Individual students, student teams, or entire classes may enter this competition to receive prizes and national recognition on the BioEd Online or K8 Science websites.

For more information; please visit:




Anousheh's Favorite Quote:

"Every generation has the obligation to free men's minds for a look at new worlds... To look out from a higher plateau than the last generation."

Elisson S. Onizuka