Celebrity|

Sarah Brightman to tour space

Sarah BrightmanSinger Sarah Brightman has confirmed that she will be taking something of a space tour. She will be travelling with the Russian Space Agency to the International Space Station in 2014. Some reports say she outbid Nasa to secure the spot, bumping an astronaut from the next flight. It’s rumoured that the seat cost more than £30 million, but the 52-year-old has refused to say how much her place on the Soyuz spacecraft has set her back. Though, she did mention that she is being sponsored by UNESCO, for which she is an ambassador.

Brightman will start six months of training in Star City, Russia’s cosmonaut training centre, for the flight in 2014 – after completing her one-year world tour. She will then lift off to orbit Earth for two weeks.

Talking about the trip, Brightman says she’s more exciting about this space flight than anything else she’s done. She’s felt a strong desire to take a space journey for most of her life, so this is beyond her wildest dreams. She was first inspired to dream about space travel at the age of eight, when she saw the first human steps on the moon in 1969. For her, it was miraculous and an epiphany. At the time it seemed crazy and unrealistic, but she suddenly saw that it’s possible.

The singer says she has already been through psychological and physical tests in Moscow to prove she’s fit for the challenge. She was poked, prodded and gave a lot of blood. One of the tests included being put in a centrifuge that replicates gravitational force, which she will face when she returns to Earth. She also had to sit in a rotating chair that makes people sick.

Brightman also revealed that her family is a little hesitant about her making the journey. She had to consider it and her family very carefully. Her mother shivered when she told her, but she told her mum that the Soyuz has a good record. Her mum was fine after that. Aside from that, she also hinted at doing a space concert.

Russian Soyuz spacecraft are the only ones capable of carrying people to the International Space Station now that Nasa has retired its shuttles. Because of this, tourists have been hard-pressed to find an open seat in recent years. The most recent space traveller was Guy Laliberte, the Canadian who founded the Cirque du Soleil. He is said to have paid about £21.8 million for the 2009 trip.

Brightman’s trip will come around the same time as Sir Richard Branson is expecting Virgin Galactic and its SpaceShipTwo (SS2) to begin offering commercial flights from Spaceport America in New Mexico. The British entrepreneur said in July that he hopes to start offering the flight in late 2013 or early 2014.

During this announcement, Branson also said that he wants to take his children on the first space flight. He outlined the plans to take son Sam and daughter Holly on the trip, along with hopes of taking the trip by the end of next year. Virgin Galactic has already taken 529 deposits from people wanting to be on the first flights. Some famous names on the list include actor Ashton Kutcher and scientist Stephen Hawking.

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