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Anousheh says the moment she blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan was the happiest she's ever been in her life. In less than 15 minutes, Anousheh and the two-man crew were orbiting Earth. "We became weightless, and it was like utopia," she says.

After 48 hours in the tiny capsule, Anousheh arrived at the International Space Station. As the astronauts opened the hatch to move inside the station, Anousheh got to smell outer space for the very first time. "It smelled something like a burnt cookie," she says.

For 10 days, she lived alongside astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space station—220 miles above Earth! In outer space, weightlessness makes simple tasks like washing your hair and brushing your teeth tricky, she says. Once she adjusted to zero gravity, Anousheh soared through the station like a pro. "Flying and floating around can be really addicting," she says.

Flying was fun, but Anousheh says the best part of her trip was the spectacular view. "When you see the Earth for what it is, you couldn't see any borders. You couldn't see any signs of wars. … It was just pure peace and beauty," she says. "You wonder, 'How could people ever do things to harm it?'"

During her trip, Anousheh says she'd see a sunrise and sunset every 90 minutes with each orbit around the Earth. She also had the privilege to see millions of beautiful stars. "It was like diamond powder over a black velvet sky," she says.
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FROM: Exclusive: Lisa Ling Takes a Rare Trip Inside North Korea
Published on October 11, 2006

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