Ever wonder what it would be like to venture into outer space? Gayle talks to Anousheh Ansari, the first female space tourist, about her incredible journey to the stars.
In September 2006, Anousheh blasted off into space for 10 days, paying a reported $20 million for a ticket on the Russian spacecraft that would take her to the international space station. She says she loved the feeling of weightlessness she experienced. "I've never felt so free," she says. The absence of gravity made mundane tasks, such as eating, washing hair and brushing teeth, a whole new experience. "When you're in weightlessness, everything is very simple—you don't need a lot of effort to do anything."
Anousheh tells Gayle one of the best things about her trip was simply looking back at Earth. Anousheh says she selected a strategic spot for her sleeping bag so that she could take advantage of the view, including sunrises, sunsets and lightning storms. "I chose a very nice location next to a big window so I could watch outside," she says. "It's beautiful…I had my iPod with me so I would listen to music and have an amazing view."
Born and raised in Iran, Anousheh tells Gayle that going into space has been a lifelong dream of hers. "I used to sleep on the balcony on summer nights when the weather was nice and just gaze at the stars and not want to sleep because I just loved the view, loved watching the stars and wondering what it's like to be in space."
Anousheh tells Gayle that the trip exceeded all her expectations. "I can't put a price on it," she says. "I would have paid more. I told some people that I would have paid with my life. It's something that I always told my husband when [we] got married: 'If someone offers me a one-way ticket to space, I'm sorry, I love you, but I'm going to go.' It's very strong in my heart and in my soul."