On September 18, Iranian-American telecom entrepreneur Anousheh Ansari will become the first Muslim woman in space. She is a liberal Shiite Muslim who left Iran because "[d]espite her aptitude in mathematics and science, it would be next to impossible for her to study these subjects at an Iranian university because the . . . regime did not consider them suitable fields of study for women." This should give the mullahs in Teheran a fit.
Even more importantly, Ansari is a class of 1988 graduate of George Mason University! Hopefully, this will give us as big a boost as the basketball team's recent trip to Final Four.
UPDATE: I have changed "secular Shiite" to "liberal Shiite" to eliminate possible terminological confusion pointed out in the comments.