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[i]Amid rising tensions between the United States and Iran, their flags will fly side by side to the International Space Station in mid-September, the world's first woman space tourist Anousheh Ansari said Wednesday. The 39-year-old businesswoman spent the first 16 years of her life in Tehran before emigrating to the US, and will carry a joint tribute to her origins on her flight suit during a ten-day trip to the ISS.
"That's why both countries are on here," she said at the Gagarin cosmonaut training facility at Star City by Moscow.[/i]
[i]"I was born in Iran, and I have sentimental attachment to that country," Ansari says. "But if it wasn't for all the opportunities and education I received in the United States, I wouldn't be here today." Ansari, who emigrated to America when she was 14, was educated at George Mason University in Virginia and George Washington University in Washington.
She's acknowledging her roots by wearing two flag patches on the sleeves of her flight suit -- one American, one Iranian.[/i]
[i]Dressed in civilian clothes, Ansari said she had worn shoulder patches with the U.S. flag and a flag with Iranian colors at a recent appearance because "both countries had something to do with the person I am today." Ansari moved to the United States when she was 16 years old.
"I feel very close to the Iranian people and the culture of the country," she said.[/i]
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