| CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. June 10
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. June 10 British singer
Sarah Brightman is scheduled to begin training this year for a
2015 flight to the International Space Station where she hopes
to become the first professional musician to sing from space,
the company arranging the trip said on Tuesday.
Brightman, a famed soprano who starred in Andrew Lloyd
Webber's "Phantom of the Opera," will pay about $52 million for
a 10-day stay aboard the orbital outpost, Tom Shelley, president
of privately owned Space Adventures, said.
"She's absolutely 100 percent committed," Shelley said
during a National Space Club Florida Committee meeting. "She's
putting together her mission plan now."
Brightman, who would become the eighth privately funded
space tourist, is slated to fly in September 2015. Her training
to fly on a Russian Soyuz capsule is scheduled to begin as early
as this fall, Shelley said.
He said she planned to be the first professional musician to
sing from space.
But she faces competition from Lady Gaga, who according to
media reports late last year intends to be the first when she
performs one song in space in early 2015 on a Virgin Galactic
flight. Virgin Galactic, part of Richard Branson's Virgin Group,
plans to offer suborbital space flights.
Brightman said in 2012 that she would travel to the space
station, but her plans were not confirmed until now.
So far, Space Adventures has arranged for nine private
missions to the space station, a $100 billion research
laboratory that flies about that flies about 260 miles (418 km)
above Earth. Microsoft co-founder Charles Simonyi made two
Brightman will be the first private citizen to visit the
station since Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Lalibarte paid about
$35 million for an 11-day stay in September 2009.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin has an option to fly on the
next available Soyuz seat after Brightman, which most likely
will be in 2017, Shelley told Reuters.
"He paid us a deposit and whenever we have a seat available,
he has the right of first refusal," Shelley said.
(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)