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Sarah Brightman boards her starship

As a teenager, 34 years ago, she had a Top Ten hit with 'I Lost My Heart To A Starship Trooper'. Now Sarah Brightman is about to go into space as a cosmonaut. It is certainly one of the more unusual career developments for the disco singer turned operatic soprano.

Brightman will travel on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to visit the International Space Station in 2014 or 2015. She announced the news at a press conference in Moscow. "I am more excited about this than I have been about anything I have done to date," she said. "This is beyond my wildest dreams."

It’s also an indication of how much Brightman has earned since giving up disco for a role in Phantom Of The Opera in 1981. The space travel package, including 12 days in orbit, was purchased from the American company Space Adventures. The exact cost was not revealed but estimates suggest it was in the tens of millions of dollars.

The exact date of the expedition will be determined by the Russian Federal Space Agency and the international space station partners, but the singer has already passed initial medical tests. She will start the rigorous six month mission training after she finishes her 2013 world tour. No civilian has travelled into space since 2009, but there is already a substantial waiting list for the space travel packages.

In the meantime, Brightman will be hoping to replenish her coffers with the release of a new album. The appropriately-titled Dreamchaser is released in January 2013.

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