Science & Environment

Sarah Brightman calls off space trip

Sarah Brightman Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Brightman was said to have paid $50m for the trip

The British soprano Sarah Brightman will not be going to the International Space Station (ISS) later this year.

The platinum-selling recording artist announced on her blog that she was postponing the adventure for "personal family reasons", giving no further explanation.

Brightman was due to fly to the ISS on 1 September as a tourist.

When, or even if, she will get to complete her dream of a 10-day holiday in orbit is not clear.

It is thought such a trip would cost her about $50m (£30m).

'Applaud her determination'

The company that was organising her trip, Space Adventures, is given only a very limited number of seats on Soyuz rockets to sell to tourists.

Who will take Brightman's berth in September is uncertain. It ought to be Brightman's back-up - a Japanese executive Satoshi Takamatsu, but Space Adventures has yet to confirm this.

Writing on her blog, Space Adventures' Eric Anderson said: “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.

Image copyright Outside Organisation
Image caption Brightman began her training in Russia in January

“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 European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen, who was due to join her in the Soyuz in September, tweeted: "Sad to lose a fantastic crew mate. Best of luck, Sarah."

Flights to and from the ISS are currently on hold following the failure of a robotic cargo ship in late April.

The Progress freighter spun out of control soon after launch, and then fell back to Earth.

The Russian and American space agencies want to understand precisely what went wrong before they permit normal crew rotations to resume.

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