Her website is still awesomely space-themed, but soprano Sarah Brightman, who owned Broadway in the 1980s thanks to Cats and Phantom of the Opera, is scratching from her planned space-tourist trip to the ISS. She’d hoped to be “the first professional musician in history to perform live from orbit.”
The news came via a Facebook post last week:
Sarah Brightman announced today that she is postponing her plans to launch aboard the upcoming Soyuz TMA-18M spaceflight mission. Ms. Brightman said that for personal family reasons her intentions have had to change and she is postponing her cosmonaut training and flight plans at this time. She would like to express her extreme gratitude to Roscosmos, Energia, GCTC (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center), Star City, NASA and all the cosmonauts and astronauts, for their support during this exciting time in her life.
“Since 2012, Sarah has shared her story of a lifelong dream to fly to space. Her international fame as the world’s best-selling soprano has enabled her message to circle the globe, inspiring others to pursue their own dreams,” said Eric Anderson, Co-Founder and Chairman of Space Adventures, Ltd. “We’ve seen firsthand her dedication to every aspect of her spaceflight training and to date, has passed all of her training and medical tests. We applaud her determination and we’ll continue to support her as she pursues a future spaceflight opportunity.”
The 54-year-old performer was slated to blast off on her trip, which cost a reported $52 million, on September 1, though Discovery News notes “the flight may be delayed in the wake of an ongoing investigation stemming from the loss of Russian Progress cargo ship last month. The cargo ships and Russia’s Soyuz passenger capsules fly aboard similar Soyuz rockets.”
Though not yet confirmed, Brightman’s backup — a “Japanese entrepreneur” who trained alongside her — could make the journey in her stead. As Discovery News further explains, the September trip will be the first tourist flight since 2009:
Since NASA retired its space shuttles, all the Soyuz seats have been needed to ferry station crewmembers. But a tourist seat is available this fall because two station crewmembers normally returning to Earth will be staying aboard the outpost for a year. The Soyuz capsule they arrived in, however, has an orbital lifespan of six months, so a taxi crew will fly a fresh spacecraft to the station and return home in the old one.
Sarah Brightman photo via her Facebook.