AFP

MOSCOW

British singer Sarah Brightman has delayed the start of her training to be a space tourist but plans to go ahead with her flight, Russia’s space agency said Friday. Brightman, the soprano famed for her roles in musicals by her ex-husband Andrew Lloyd Webber, arrived in Moscow and was due to start training this week for her flight, planned for October, for which she will reportedly pay around $52 million. But the 54-year-old has delayed her training at the Star City complex outside Moscow and has now left Russia to visit her sick mother, Alexei Krasnov, the head of manned flights at the Russian space agency, told TASS state news agency. ‘She has gone away for family reasons, but she promised to be in Moscow on Sunday,’ Krasnov said. He denied suggestions that Brightman could give up her place to a 51-year-old Japanese businessman who markets space tourism, Satoshi Takamatsu, who is also starting training to become a space tourist. ‘There are no indications that she will abandon the flight,’ Krasnov said. An official at the Yuri Gagarin cosmonaut training centre told TASS that Brightman was due to meet the staff on Thursday but ‘she got a cold and now it’s all postponed till next week’.