Dallas Woman Prepares for Liftoff

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Iranian-born Anousheh Ansari will fulfill a long-held fantasy by traveling to space Monday on her 40th birthday.

"Flying to space and being able to experience this has been something I always dreamed of, ever since I can remember, as a child, sleeping outside under stars and gazing at the skies and wondering what is out there," Ansari told Bill Weir on "Good Morning America Weekend Edition."

If all goes as planned, Ansari will become the first female space tourist, celebrating her birthday in quarantine with the rest of the astronauts and cosmonauts. The trip comes with an approximately $20 million price tag.

Ansari is scheduled to ride aboard a Soyuz TMA-9 capsule Monday, along with Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin and Spanish-born U.S. astronaut Miguel Lopez-Alegria.

She will spend 10 days at the international space station before returning to Earth with its current crew members, Pavel Vinogradov and Jeff Williams, who have been on board since April 1.

Ansari told "GMA" that she most looks forward to seeing Earth for the first time from afar.

She began her physical training in March, but said mentally she has been training for a lifetime.

"Based on my training, I've learned a lot about the vehicle [UNINTEL]," she said. "And I feel pretty confident and I have no fear, actually."

Ansari called her zero gravity training fascinating.

"I was like a kid in a candy store: I couldn't stop giggling," she said. "I highly recommend it to everyone, to try to do that."

She hopes commercial space travel will become commonplace, noting that she would do everything she could to make that happen.

"There is, absolutely, a lot of money to be made in space tourism and space travel," said Ansari. "We need innovators for the future to make sure that the space exploration industries flourish."

Ansari had nothing but compliments for the 150 different kinds of astronaut food she had been sampling.

"A lot of things taste like food on Earth: They don't look appetizing, but the taste is good," she told Weir. "More importantly, they have chocolate up there. So, I figured I'll be fine as long as I can have chocolate."

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