Sarah Brightman has had a change of tune and won't be singing in space after all — at least not in the near future.
The 54-year-old British soprano announced Wednesday that she is postponing her plans to fly as a tourist to the International Space Station in September with Russian cosmonaut Sergey Volkov and European astronaut Andreas Mogensen aboard a Soyuz spacecraft. "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," according to a statement posted on her website and Facebook page. "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 post offered no further details on her change of plans.
Space Adventures, a Virginia-based company, had been brokering the multimillion-dollar flight for Brightman. "Since 2012, Sarah has shared her story of a lifelong dream to fly to space. Her international fame as the world's best-selling soprano has enabled her message to circle the globe, inspiring others to pursue their own dreams," Eric Anderson, the space tourism company’s co-founder and chairman, said in a statement. "We've seen firsthand her dedication to every aspect of her spaceflight training and to date, has passed all of her training and medical tests. We applaud her determination and we’ll continue to support her as she pursues a future spaceflight opportunity."
Brightman's announcement comes a day after Russian officials pushed back this month’s scheduled launch of a Soyuz crew to late July. The scheduled return this week of three ISS crew members has also been postponed for a month. The delays come as Russian officials investigate the cause of a launch failure and loss of an unmanned Russian cargo spaceship on April 28.