MOSCOW, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- British crossover style performer Sarah Brightman announced here Wednesday her intention to become the next paying passenger to the International Space Station (ISS).
"I am planning to become a space flight participant," Brightman told a press conference, after receiving the approval from a medical commission for training at Russia's Cosmonaut Training Center in July. Ahead of the flight to the ISS, she will still receive a six-month training, she added.
Once at the ISS, Brightman will orbit the earth 16 times daily and intends to become the first professional musician to sing from space.
She told reporters that she was more excited about this than anything she had done to date. "Most of my life I have felt an incredible desire to take the journey to space that I have now begun," said the 52-year-old artist.
Brightman described the 10-day journey as a chance to realize her childhood dreams, saying as an eight-year-old girl, when seeing the television images of the first human steps on the moon, she dreamed to travel to space. "I want to go there, right there, to the space."
As a UNESCO "Artist of Peace", Brightman also hoped that she could encourage others to take inspiration from her journey both to pursue their own dreams and to help fulfill the important UNESCO mandate to promote peace and sustainable development on the earth and from space.
Alexey Krasnov, head of human space flight in Russian Space Agency Roscosmos, said Brightman was fit for space travel and her flight would likely be carried out in October or November 2015.
Born in 1960 in England, Brightman is an English classical crossover soprano, actress, songwriter and dancer. She has developed her own crossover style, combining different musical genres and traditions in albums such as Timeless, Eden, La Luna, and Harem.
So far, seven paying space tourists have been sent to the ISS, including a female tourist. Each of them spent at least 20 million U.S. dollars. The last space tourist was Guy Laliberte, who returned to the earth in October 2009 after an 11-day flight.
After that, Russia stopped taking space tourists due to lack of room in its cramped three-person Soyuz space capsules, when NASA canceled its shuttles, leaving Russian rockets the only ones capable of carrying crews into orbit.