Earlier this year, Sarah Brightman traveled to Russia to begin several months of training leading up to what would eventually become a 10-day mission aboard the International Space Station. The 54-year-old opera star had been planning this adventure since 2012, a fulfillment of a dream born after watching the 1969 moon landing. Yesterday, Brightman revealed that she was postponing the estimated $52 million trip to the ISS for personal reasons. 

"Sarah Brightman announced today that she is postponing her plans to launch aboard the upcoming Soyuz TMA-18M spaceflight mission," a rep shared on Facebook. "Ms. Brightman said that for personal family reasons her intentions have had to change and she is postponing her cosmonaut training and flight plans at this time. She would like to express her extreme gratitude to Roscosmos, Energia, GCTC (Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center), Star City, NASA and all the cosmonauts and astronauts, for their support during this exciting time in her life."

Brightman's cancellation opens the door for her backup Satoshi Takamatsu, a Japanese entrepreneur who has been training alongside her since January. "I started dreaming of launching to space when I was 6 years old when I watched the Apollo 11 lunar landing on TV," Takamatsu said back in January. "So this really is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream."

Sarah Brightman and backup astronaut Takamatsu at Russia's Star City facility

Brightman and Takamatsu at Russia's Star City space training facility earlier this year. (Photo: Twitter/SarahBrightman)

In a separate statement, perhaps to clear up any speculation regarding Brightman and the mission's rigorous training, Space Adventures, the company brokering the star's trip, said she had passed all of her training and medical tests. 

"We applaud her determination and we’ll continue to support her as she pursues a future spaceflight opportunity," added co-founder and chairman Eric Anderson. 

Should a future opportunity to travel to the ISS not present itself, Brightman does have a backup plan: a ticket aboard Richard Branson's commercial spaceflight Virgin Galactic. The company, still reeling from a tragic test flight in 2014, is expected to begin testing another version of its passenger spacecraft later this year.

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Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Opera star Sarah Brightman postpones trip to space
Famed soprano, who was training to spend 10 days aboard the International Space Station, cites 'personal family reasons' for the cancellation.