Singer Sarah Brightman Headed to Orbit?

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Singer Sarah Brightman, already in line for a ride on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, seems to have higher aspirations.

The famed soprano, who originated the role of Christine Daae in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, plans to make a joint announcement on Oct. 10 with

Space Adventures, the U.S.-based company that has arranged for seven tourists to fly to the International Space Station aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

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If that’s where the 52-year-old soprano is headed as well, she’ll be following in the footsteps of Circque du Soleil founder Guy Lalibarte, the last privately paying space traveler and only other performance artist to visit the space station.

Since Laliberte’s October 2009 flight, the Russian Soyuz capsules have been fully booked transporting crewmembers to the space station, an orbital outpost that flies about 250 miles above Earth.

Laliberte reportedly paid about $35 million for the 11-day adventure, during which he participated in a two-hour webcast featuring artistic performances in 14 cities on five continents.

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The first non-astronaut to fly to the space station was Dennis Tito, an American businessman, in 2001. Since then, six other people have made the trip including Laliberte, Ansari X-Prize sponsor Anousheh Ansari and former Microsoft lead engineer Charles Simonyi, who flew twice.

Image: Sarah Brightman performing in 2008 — does she have orbital aspirations? Credit: Corbis