Space tourism company Space Adventures sent out a media advisory Wednesday morning about a press conference the company plans to hold in Moscow on October 10. “Sarah Brightman will be in Moscow to make a ‘groundbreaking’ announcement,” the advisory states, without offering details about that announcement. Brightman, an “international singing superstar” in the words of the media advisory, will be joined at the event by a Russian TV personality, Mikhail Gendelev, as well as Space Adventures chairman Eric Anderson.
The announcement would seem to confirm some media reports last month that Brightman was interested in flying to the International Space Station as a space tourist, although we won’t know for certain until next month’s press conference. One issue will be the timing of the trip: for the time being there are no extra seats available on Soyuz spacecraft going to and from the ISS, as they are currently used exclusively for rotating ISS crewmembers. Space Adventures has talked in the past about a dedicated Soyuz flight, with one professional cosmonaut pilot and two commercial passengers. Another possibility is that one or more ISS crewmembers may stay on the station for up to a year to study the effects of an extended mission, like one to Mars; that would free up seats on the Soyuz vehicles (which have a six-month orbital lifetime) for commercial passengers like Brightman.