Image: Anousheh Ansari
Sergei Remezov  /  Reuters
U.S. entrepeneur Anousheh Ansari smiles during an examination of the Soyuz space capsule in Moscow. A medical commission found Japanese businessman Daisuke Enomoto unfit for the 10-day space journey and replaced him with Ansari.
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updated 8/24/2006 5:11:57 PM ET 2006-08-24T21:11:57

Russian space engineers are re-fitting the Soyuz-TMA crew craft to accommodate U.S. businesswoman Anousheh Ansari who has replaced an ailing Japanese businessman to fly to the International Space Station for a ten-day stint as a tourist, senior Russian officials said.

"A woman's organism is different, that's why we need to modify some of the life systems in the capsule," Nikolai Sevastyanov, president and general designer of Rocket Space Corporation Energiya, Korolev, Russia, told Russian news agency ITAR-TASS Thursday.

The engineers at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Baikonur are to change the special shock-absorbing seat liner on the seat which had been previously assigned to Japanese businessman Daisuke “Dice-K “ Enomoto until Russian space doctors ruled earlier this month that he was unfit to fly to the ISS on Sept. 14.

Enomoto was to have flown to ISS with U.S. commander Miguel Lopez-Alegria and Russian flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin. Ansari was a member of the back-up crew and the obvious replacement for Enomoto, according to Igor Panarin, spokesman for Russia's Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos).

The seat line measured and made to fit Ansari is not the only item that the engineers will have to install to accommodate the world's female space tourist, according to Sergei Pozdnyakov, deputy director general of Zvezda Company in Tomilno, Russia.

Zvezda has manufactured seats, suits and other personal equipment for every single of Soviet cosmonauts, including Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova who was the first woman to fly to space.

Among other items, which have been custom-made for Ansari at Zvezda, is a wardrobe of special suits, including a space suit, heat-insulating suit and a special outfit, dubbed Centaur and designed to help to withstand G-force during the landing. Other items include lingerie, a working suit, shorts and T-shirts.

Since Ansari was on the back-up crew, her customized suits and other items were already shipped to Baikonur and it would take a day or two to replace Enomoto's belongings inside the Soyuz-TMA craft, Pozdnyakov said. 

However, just like passengers of US-bound airplane flights, Ansari won't be able to carry any makeup on board. "I believe she is ready to sacrifice more than that for the sake of fulfilling of her dream," said an official from the Moscow-based Institute of Medical and Biological Research, which will supply products for the mission.

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