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INTERNATIONAL: Space is like a burned almond cookie - but don't try to wash.

She said that space smells like a "burned almond cookie." She praised the wonders of Velcro, and described the hazards of trying to wash her hair in zero gravity.

Space tourist Anousheh Ansari's blog offers uncommon insight into everyday life on the international space station through the eyes of an American businesswoman.

Her ten-day adventure ended early yesterday when she touched down in a Soyuz vehicle on the steppes of Kazakhstan along with Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov and US astronaut Jeff Williams.

"It is hard for me to write tonight," she wrote on Thursday in her last posting from space. "My emotions are high and there are millions of thoughts going through my head."

Although she has a master's degree in engineering and made a fortune in the telecommunications industry, Ansari's blog entries have been free of tech-heavy jargon, exhibiting an enthusiastic, chatty style. She tackled topics that vintage, tough-guy astronauts such as Alan Shepard surely would have avoided: motion sickness, the clumsiness of weightlessness and hygiene.

"Well my friends, I must admit keeping good hygiene in space is not easy!" she wrote in the opening of one entry.

She then described washing her hair by opening a water bag to make a huge bubble over her head, rubbing in dry shampoo and then being careful not to make sudden movements that would burst the bubble into small pieces of water floating everywhere.

Zero gravity has made it impossible to keep objects from drifting away, she wrote.

"So God invented Velcro for this very purpose. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone up here but I've lost a few little things already, like my lip-gloss."

One night, she discovered her toes were bruised from gripping bars along the walls of the space station. She informed readers that she uses her big toe to hold herself in one place.

And she wrote about the smell of space - at least the space inside the orbiting lab: "It was kind of like burned almond cookie."


Russian ground personnel members carry US entrepreneur Anousheh Ansari shortly after landing near the town of Arkalyk, northern Kazakhstan' The Soyuz space capsule under a parachute lands in northern Kazakstan
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Sep 30, 2006
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