Will Sarah Brightman be the Next Space Tourist or Not?
It was HUGE news at the time. World famous English recording artist Sarah Brightman would be the next space tourist, flying into space on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. Today, Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, seems to be singing a different tune
The original announcement was made at a news conference in Moscow on October 12, where Brightman did say that the details were still being worked out, but speculation was rampant that it would take place in 2015 and was somehow tied to the NASA-Roscosmos decision to have a crew spend one year on the ISS (which would open up Soyuz seats for purposes other than crew rotation). Brightman said at the time she was not a dreamer, but a dream chaser, which just happens to be the title of a new album she plans to release next year.
Photo credit: sarahbrightman.com
Today, six weeks later, Roscosmos Director Vladimir Popovkin, said that his agency has not yet decided if Brightman will fly. Russia's RIA Novosti quotes him as saying "I have met her. She is all set to fly, but Roscosmos has not yet decided on it. We have a range of possibilities, including sending young cosmonauts to fly. A final decision will be made in the first half of 2013." Other Russian media outlets reported the same story.
Difficult to know what to make of the statement. The head of human spaceflight at Roscosmos, Alexei Krasnov, was one of the speakers at the October 12 news conference where everyone was clearly enthusiastic. Russia Today (RT) commented today that Brightman has not yet signed a contract with Roscosmos and some in the Russian space program think the announcement was simply part of the publicity campaign for her new album. It also noted that she would be 55 if she flew in 2015, which would put her among the oldest people to fly into space. Itar-Tass reported, however, that she underwent a medical examination at Star City, home to Russia's cosmonauts, in July 2012, and received approval to fly.
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