Sarah Brightman, the British classical crossover soprano, songwriter, actress, and dancer, has postponed her flight to the International Space Station that was scheduled to occur later this year, citing “personal family reasons”.
In her blog, the platinum-selling artist, who was set to go into space on 1 September as a tourist, paying £30 million ($50 million), gave no further explanation.
Many believe her family reason is her elderly mother. In January, Brightman interrupted her training to return to England for “family reasons”, which the UK press put down to her mother falling ill.
Sarah Brightman started her training in Russia at the beginning of this year. (Image: Brightman’s blog)
On her website, Brightman expressed her ‘extreme’ gratitude to Star City, NASA, GCTC (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center), Energia, Roscosmos, and all the astronauts and cosmonauts for their support during ‘this exciting time in her life’.
Co-Founder and Chairman of Space Adventures, Ltd., 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.”
“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.”
Satoshi Takamatsu likely replacement
Space Adventures has yet to confirm whether Satoshi Takamatsu, a Japanese advertising executive, will take Brightman’s berth.
Danish engineer and European Space Agency astronaut, Andreas Enevold Mogensen, tweeted “Sad to lose a fantastic crew mate. Best of luck, Sarah.”
Spaceflights on hold
Spaceflights to and from the International Space Station are currently on hold after the Progress 59 freighter failed in April 2015. The cargo ship spun out of control not long after launch, and then disintegrated as it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere.
According to Russian space officials on Thursday, the failure was caused by problems with its Soyuz rocket.
A preliminary investigation has revealed that Progress 59’s problems occurred because it separated too early from the Soyuz’ third stage, officials at Russia’s federal space agency – Roscosmos – announced.
Video – Satoshi Takamatsu Space Project