Sarah Brightman Postpones Space Flight Plans
Singer cites "family reasons" day after Soyuz accident investigation announced at Russia's Star City space base.
British soprano Sarah Brightman has delayed plans for a flight to the joint Russian-American International Space Station, citing family reasons.
The singer began training at Russia's Star City space base in January for a ride aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule for a 10-day stay in orbit 260 miles above earth this September.
But the singer issued a statement mid-week to postpone the trip that would have cost her $52 million, according to Space Adventures, the privately owned U.S travel agency that arranged the expedition.
In a post on her Facebook page, the singer said she was "postponing plans to launch aboard the upcoming Soyuz TMA-18M spaceflight mission."
The singer's plans had changed for "personal family reasons," the post said, without providing full details, and she was "postponing her cosmonaut training and flight plans at this time."
In a comment from Eric Anderson, co-founder and chairman of Space Adventures, the statement added that "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."
Anderson continued: "We’ve seen firsthand her dedication to every aspect of her spaceflight training, and to date she 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.”
Brightman would have become the eighth paying tourist to visit the station, which is supported by 13 nations besides Russia and the United States. Space tourists have included Microsoft co-founder Charles Simonyi, who has been there twice.
The singer's September launch seemed likely to be delayed anyway following an announcement Tuesday that Russia was delaying the next station crew launch by two months —until late July — due to a Soyuz rocket accident investigation. It is not known if the news influenced Brightman's decision.