Opera singer Sarah Brightman 'postponing' plans to fly to International Space Station
"Sarah Brightman announced today that she is postponing her plans to launch aboard the upcoming Soyuz TMA-18M spaceflight mission," a statement on Brightman's official Web site stated Wednesday. "Ms. Brightman said that for personal family reasons her intentions have had to change and she is postponing her cosmonaut training and flight plans at this time. She would like to express her extreme gratitude to Roscosmos, Energia, GCTC (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center), Star City, NASA and all the cosmonauts and astronauts, for their support during this exciting time in her life."
The statement also included a quote from Eric Anderson, Co-Founder and Chairman of Space Adventures, Ltd., who said Brightman may pursue "a future spaceflight opportunity."
The announcement comes after a Russian Progress 59 cargo ship suffered a launch failure that ultimately resulted in the loss of the craft earlier this month. Since then, the schedules of current and upcoming space station missions have been adjusted to accommodate the investigation into the mishap.
Brightman's statement did not mention the mishap.
Brightman is probably best known for her role as "Christine Daae" in Webber's popular 1986 rock-opera "Phantom of the Opera."
In March, WDRB News spoke with American astronaut Kjell Lindgren, who was expected to be on board the space station at the same time as Brightman. At the time, he expressed his enthusiasm for her mission.
"I'm excited that Sarah Brightman is flying," Lindgren said. "She is something of an international ambassador for arts and so I'm excited to see the arts in space – to see music and do a little performance in space of something that's new."
"She's going to be reaching out to a whole new population that maybe didn't have a particular interest in space previously," he added. "And then she's just going to be something new to the space station. I can tell you that it's going to be very exciting to watch her and hear her perform up there."