British singer Sarah Brightman will begin training this year for a flight to the International Space Station, or ISS, in 2015 on the Russian-made Soyuz spacecraft, the company arranging the trip reportedly said Tuesday.
The famed soprano, who will reportedly pay about $52 million for a 10-day voyage scheduled for September 2015, has expressed her wish to become the first professional musician to sing from space. However, she may face some stiff competition in her attempt to do so. And, if her trip happens according to schedule, Brightman will reportedly be the eighth person to privately fund a journey to space.
“She’s absolutely 100 percent committed,” Tom Shelley, president of privately-owned Space Adventures, which is based in Vienna, Va., said during a National Space Club Florida Committee meeting, according to Reuters. “She’s putting together her mission plan now.”
Brightman, who gained popularity after starring in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s "The Phantom of the Opera," is the first artist to have been invited twice to perform at the Olympic Games. However, the British artist could reportedly face competition in her space endeavor from Lady Gaga, who also intends to be the first musician to perform in space.
According to media reports, Lady Gaga may take a trip to space in early 2015 on a Virgin Galactic flight, an American-based, British-owned commercial spaceflight company that is part of Richard Branson's Virgin Group and plans to offer suborbital spaceflights to space tourists.
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Shelley told Reuters that Google co-founder Sergey Brin could be the next person, after Brightman, to travel to space in the Soyuz craft, which will most likely be sometime in 2017.
Space Adventures has so far arranged nine private space missions, with Microsoft co-founder Charles Simonyi making two trips.
Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil, travelled to space in September 2009 by reportedly paying about $35 million for an 11-day stay, while Dennis Tito, a U.S. entrepreneur, made the first flight to the ISS in 2001 after paying $20 million for an 8-day trip to the space station.