British opera singer Sarah Brightman canceled her application to visit the International Space Station, freeing up space for a Japanese entrepreneur to prepare for the flight.
“It's sad to lose such a fantastic assistant crew. Good luck to you, Sarah,” European Space Agency astronaut Andreas Mogensen, one of two scheduled crew members of Brightman, posted his comment on Twitter.
Brightman and her replacement, Satoshi Takamatsu, arrived in Russia, in Star City near Moscow in January to begin preparations for the flight aboard the Russian Union capsule and a ten-day visit to the station. The launch was scheduled for September 1, although the flight may be postponed due to an ongoing investigation, due to the loss by Russia of the progress of the cargo ship last month.
On a personal Facebook page, Brightman said that "for family reasons, so far, it postpones training as an astronaut and flight."
No other information was received, although the American company Space Adventures, which collected $ 52 million for the trip, said in another statement that Brightman had completed all the training and has now passed all medical tests. “We applaud her determination, and we will continue to support her as she proposes future space flight opportunities,” said Eric Anderson, co-founder and chairman of Space Adventures. So far, seven people have paid for visiting the space station, which is located about 260 miles above the Earth. One of the tourists, Microsoft co-founder Charles Simoni, made the trip twice. The last tourists flew in 2009.
Since NASA has withdrawn its space shuttles from circulation, all Soyuz seats will be necessary to transport the station crew members. But tourist seats will be available this fall, because two members of the station’s crew, who usually return to Earth, will be on board throughout the year.
Space Adventures could not confirm that Takamatsu was going instead of Brightman.