Brightman and Gaga in race to sing in space
BRITISH singer Sarah Brightman is scheduled to begin training this year for a flight next year to the International Space Station where she hopes to become the first professional musician to sing from space, the company arranging the trip said on Tuesday.
Brightman, a famed soprano who starred in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom Of The Opera, will pay about US$52 million (S$65 million) for a 10-day stay aboard the orbital outpost, said Tom Shelley, president of privately owned Space Adventures.
"She's absolutely 100 per cent committed," Mr Shelley said during a National Space Club Florida Committee meeting. "She's putting together her mission plan now."
Brightman, who would become the eighth privately funded space tourist, is slated to fly in September next year. Her training to fly on a Russian Soyuz capsule is scheduled to begin as early as this autumn, Mr Shelley said.
He said she planned to be the first professional musician to sing from space.
But she faces competition from Lady Gaga who, according to media reports late last year, intends to be the first when she performs a song in space early next year on a Virgin Galactic flight. Virgin Galactic, part of Richard Branson's Virgin Group, plans to offer suborbital space flights.
Brightman said in 2012 that she would travel to the space station, but her plans were not confirmed until now.
So far, Space Adventures has arranged for nine private missions to the space station, which is a US$100 billion research laboratory that flies about 418km above earth.