Singer Sarah Brightman to be Russia's next space tourist
British singer Sarah Brightman has revealed she has bought a seat to fly on a Russian spaceship.
Brightman, 52, will rocket 250 miles above Earth to the International Space Station (ISS), becoming the first space tourist since Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte in 2009, and the first British space tourist ever.
According to Reuters, The Phantom of the Opera star said: "I am more excited about this than I have been about anything I have done to date.
"Most of my life I have felt an incredible desire to take the journey to space that I have now begun. This is beyond my wildest dreams."
A press conference held for the announcement in Moscow began with a music video advertising Brightman's new album Dream Chaser, which is expected to be released in January.
According to the BBC, after touring her new album, she plans to spend six months training with Russian cosmonauts outside Moscow.
While Brightman has not revealed what she paid for the experience, the ninth so far brokered by US firm Space Adventures, it can be expected to be at least as much as Russia charges NASA astronauts for the privilege - more than $50 million.
The adventure package includes 12 days in orbit, and Brightman said she will use her mission to promote education for women in the sciences and raise environmental awareness.
According to Sky News, Russia stopped taking space tourists in 2009 because of lack of room in its three-person Soyuz space capsules that take astronauts to the ISS.
But Space Adventures said last year that it had signed a deal with the Russian space agency for three commercial passengers to book seats to the ISS each year as Russia plans to increase the number of Soyuz flights.
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