MOSCOW, June 27 (Xinhua) -- British singer Sarah Brightman is to start training in August or September for her space trip, a senior Russian official said Friday.
"Sarah Brightman will be trained as a candidate for a short-term mission to the International Space Station (ISS), accompanied with an international crew," said the official from Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, located in the Star City east of Moscow. ( The 10-day flight onboard a Soyuz spacecraft has been scheduled for 2015, he added.
The British soprano reportedly paid up to some 50 million U.S. dollars for the space trip. She hopes to become the first professional musician to sing from space as the eighth space tourist.
Seven tourists, including one female, have so far traveled to the ISS, with each of them paying at least 20 million dollars.
In October 2009, Russia stopped taking space tourists due to lack of room in its three-person Soyuz spacecraft, when NASA canceled its shuttles, leaving Russian rockets the only ones capable of bringing crews to the ISS.
Brightman, 53, has become popular in China, after singing the Beijing Olympics theme song in 2008. She visited China many times in recent years and sang at concerts or other events in several cities during her tours.