Opera singer Sarah Brightman plans to start training for a 10-day trip to the International Space Station that would probably take place in 2015.
Brightman, who shot into the limelight when she was cast in the lead female role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera," would be the eighth paying tourist, or "spaceflight participant" as NASA calls them, to the station, a $100 billion research laboratory that flies about 250 miles above Earth.
"I am planning to become a spaceflight participant," Brightman said at a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday.
"I am determined that this journey can reach out to be a force for good, a catalyst for some of the dreams and aims of others that resonate with me," she added in a statement.
The singer expects to release a recording of songs in January titled "Dreamchaser" that was spurred by the preparations and feelings about her planned space adventure.
In July, Brightman, who like all previous space tourists will fly on a Russian Soyuz capsule, passed her medical exams.
"She's fit and mentally prepared for our spaceflight training program," Alexey Krasnov, head of human space programs for Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, said in a statement.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The last paying passenger to visit the station was Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Lalilberte, who reportedly paid $35 million for a 10-day trip in 2009.
Brightman said she plans to start training in 2013 upon completion of a planned 100-city world tour.
Image: Singer of the space station? Soprano Sarah Brightman inks deal for an orbital odyssey. Credit: CORBIS