Musicians head to space

Some may have guessed British singer Sarah Brightman had a thing for space based on her 1978 hit “I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper,” but who would have guessed all these years later she’d actually be headed into space? It is looking like her flight will be in 2015, making her the first space tourist since Cirque du Soliel founder Guy Laliberte headed to the stars in 2009.

The world’s best selling soprano, Brightman is beloved for her performance as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera.  She announced her space plans in a news conference last week, and hinted at possibly performing a song in space.

To date, there have only been six people besides Laliberte who have travelled to space purely to satisfy their interest of going there – Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth, Gregory Olsen, Anousheh Ansari, Charles Simonyi, and Richard Garriott. For most people, space travel is just far too expensive.

So will Brightman sing her biggest hit on board? We can only hope – but she won’t be the first to make music among the galaxies, as Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield will be doing just that in 2013.

Hadfield works as a musician in his spare time, and has been collaborating with Juno winning Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson to write a song they plan to perform simultaneously on Music Monday 2013 this coming March. The song, entitled “I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing)”, was written to highlight and celebrate music education in schools across the country.

Hadfield will be performing the song in space while Robertson performs it on the ground, accompanied by a local high school choir. You can follow the collaboration at CBC music to see the songwriting as it progresses along with the performance itself.

By that time, Brightman will be on tour in support of her latest album Dreamchaser, and gearing up for six months of cosmonaut training.