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CAPE CANAVERAL (FLORIDA TODAY) - International singing sensation Sarah Brightman will become the next "space tourist" to fly to the International Space Station through an agreement with the Russian Federal Space Agency, officials said today.

A classical crossover soprano, actress, songwriting and dancer, Brightman was approved to train for a spaceflight after medical assessments in July at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City outside Moscow.



Space Adventures, a space tourism company based in Virginia, brokered the flight. Brightman is the eighth "spaceflight participant" to arrange a trip to the station through the company.



NASA pays the Russian space agency about $60 million per seat to train and fly American astronauts to and from the space station. Officials would not reveal the cost of Brightman's trip.



"The price of the flight is confidential," said Space Adventures Founder Eric Anderson. "But it is a round trip."



No exact date was announced for the flight. But published reports indicate it will take place in 2015.



Brightman is world's biggest-selling soprano and is famous for having a vocal range of over three octaves. She told reporters at a news conference in Moscow today that she has wanted to fly into space ever since watching the Apollo 11 moon landing in July 1969.



"For me it was an epiphany," Brightman said.



Brightman also is a star of stage. In the 1981s, she appeared in the musicals "Cats," "The Phantom of the Opera," "Song" and "Dance and Requiem."



She married composer Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1984. They were divorced in the early 1990s.



Brightman is an "artist for peace" for UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. During her two-week trip to the station, she will be working with the organization to promote the importance of science, technology, and math education, particularly for women and girls.


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