MOSCOW, October 10 (RIA Novosti)
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British soprano and crossover singer Sarah Brightman confirmed on Wednesday that she will travel to the International Space Station as a space tourist.
“I am planning to become a space flight participant and I have received a confirmation from [Russia’s space agency] Roscosmos that I can start the preparation for my flight,” Brightman told a news conference in Moscow.
Brightman, 52, said she had been approved medically and would undergo six months of training in Russia after a 15-month world tour promoting her new album, Dream Chaser, which is scheduled for release in January 2013.
“This voyage is a product of a dream, my dream. Finally it can be a reality. I am more excited about this than anything I have done in my life to date,” Brightman said, adding that she would spend 10 days aboard the ISS and maybe even "sing a song from space."
The head of manned space missions at Roscosmos, Alexei Krasnov, confirmed at the same news conference that Brightman could travel to the orbital station aboard the Soyuz space craft in October 2015 together with a Russian cosmonaut and a NASA astronaut chosen for a year-long experimental mission on the ISS.
Brightman, known for her roles in West End musicals such as Cats and The Phantom of the Opera, will become the eighth private individual to make the trip to the ISS, which has been off limits to space tourists since 2010 as its crew grew from three to six astronauts.
The commercial flights to the ISS for space tourists are organized through US-based company Space Adventures, which has been authorized by Roscosmos to select and contract candidates for space tourist trips.
The price of a 10-day trip to the ISS for a tourist is estimated at about $35 million.
Space tourists started flying to the ISS in 2001. Dennis Tito, an American businessman and former NASA scientist, became the first space tourist when he visited the ISS in 2001.
He was followed by South African computer millionaire Mark Shuttleworth in 2002, and Gregory Olsen, a U.S. entrepreneur and scientist, in 2005.
In 2006, Anousheh Ansari, a U.S. citizen of Iranian descent, became the first female space tourist.
U.S. games developer Richard Garriott, the son of former NASA astronaut Owen K. Garriott, went into orbit for 11 days in October 2008 on board a Russian Soyuz TMA-13.
U.S. space tourist Charles Simonyi, one of the founders of Microsoft, made two trips to the ISS - in 2005 and 2009.
The latest tourist, the Canadian founder of the Cirque du Soleil entertainment company Guy Laliberte, paid about $40 million for his 12-day stay on board the orbital station in October 2009.
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