MOSCOW, January 15. /TASS/. British famed soprano singer Sarah Brightman has caught cold and will begin her pre-flight trainings for the journey to the International Space Station (ISS) next week instead of today, a spokesman for Russia's Star City space training facility outside Moscow said on Thursday.
“Sarah Brightman was supposed to meet today the staff and the administration of the training facility and begin her trainings afterwards,” the spokesman said. “However, she caught cold and everything was moved until the next week.”
The spokesman added that 51-year-old Japanese businessman Satoshi Takamatsu, who has been selected as backup for Brightman, had already arrived in the Star City and began his pre-flight training.
Takamatsu is the president of the newly created Space Travel company. He has already undergone medical tests and training at the Russian space agency, Roscosmos. The businessman is expected to be trained at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as well.
Brightman, 54, who starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber's “Phantom of the Opera” and is the world’s best-selling soprano singer with over 30 million of CDs sold, first announced her intentions to travel to the ISS as a space tourist in August 2012.
In 2013, Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) signed a relevant agreement with US-based Space Adventures Ltd. company to proceed with the superstar’s plans of traveling into space.Tom Shelley, the president of Space Adventures, said last year that Brightman would pay a total of $52 million for her flight on board of the Russian-made Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS, where she plans to spend 10 days as a space tourist with ISS Expedition 45/46.
Expedition 45/46 crew members will include Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov and European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen.
If the British singer reaches the ISS in September as it had been planned, she will become the eighth space tourist in the world.
The pioneer space tourist is US entrepreneur Dennis Tito, who made the flight to the ISS in 2001 for $20 million and spent eight days at the station. The most recent space tourist at the station is Cirque du Soleil co-founder Guy Laliberte, who spent 11 days at the ISS in 2009 for $40 million.
The only female space tourist so far reaching the ISS is Anousheh Ansari, an Iranian-American engineer and co-founder and chairwoman of Prodea Systems. Her 12-day stay at the space station in 2006 cost her $20 million.