Lady Gaga vs. Sarah Brightman: Who Will be First (Professional) Musician to Sing in Space?

sarah_brightmanThe battle of singing space divas is on!

In this corner, British soprano Sarah Brightman, who is paying $52 million to fly to the International Space Station in September 2015.

And in the other corner, the always interesting and frequently controversial Lady Gaga, scheduled to blast into space aboard Richard Branson’s SpaceShipTwo as part of the Zero G Colony music festival in early 2015.

Wait? What? How could Brightman get there first if Gaga is flying earlier?

Good question.

Brightman’s trip looks pretty set. It has been arranged by Space Adventures, which has already sent eight millionauts to the station on nine different voyages aboard Russian Soyuz spacecraft. (Charles Simonyi flew twice.) Brightman is already in training, and barring anything unusual happening, the mission should take place as scheduled in September 2015. After she arrives, she plans to sing in space.

Lady Gaga’s plans are not quite as certain. Zero G Colony announced itself to the world in November as a three-day “galactic music experience” combining the best of today’s artists with high technology. It is to take place at Spaceport America in New Mexico early next year, and feature a suborbital flight by Lady Gaga aboard SpaceShipTwo.

That was seven months ago. There’s been precious little news about the festival since then. The event’s website consists of a single page with an email signup for updates and links to the festival’s Facebook and Twitter feeds. Those pages, in turn, show no activity whatsoever since the initial announcement.

This is quite odd. Given the cost of staging a three-day music festival, you would think the organizers would be promoting the hell out of it. Especially since it is now less than a year away. Double especially if the event involves Branson’s Virgin Group, which promotes the hell out of everything.

There’s also the question of whether SpaceShipTwo will be ready for commercial flights by early 2015. Test flights are set to resume sometime this summer, with commercial operations set to begin when Branson and his two children fly. Virgin Galactic is hoping to accomplish all these things by the end of 2014, but the schedule is very tight. Probably too tight.

We’ll see what happens. If I was a gambler, I’d put everything on Brightman.

  • windbourne

    Interesting race. One major issue for brightman is that there is NO good place to perform in the ISS. Oddly, the best one, MIGHT be the BEAM.

  • Terry Rawnsley

    It didn’t seem to be an issue for Chris Hadfield.

  • Robert Gishubl

    Will the interior of SS2 be any better, the timing will have to be just right.

  • Douglas Messier

    The bigger question is how high SS2 will fly. Hearing that it might get to 50 miles…or lower. Not a lot zero G time.

  • Jay

    A repost from me on Linkedin: ‘As if you can compare “going to space” on
    Virgin (a whopping 5% of low-Earth orbit energy) to going to space at
    ISS (~2/3 of the energy required to leaves Earth’s gravity well!)
    Brightman will be the first in my book, in any case.’

    And adding: Gaga will have to be a fast singer. her time at 62nmi is precious seconds, not days or weeks like Brightman – there just is no comparison here.

  • mike_shupp

    Brightman is gorgeous and has one hell of a voice. If NASA had any sense, they’d be quietly subsidizing her flight, and pressuring the Russians to move the date up.

  • Fuzzypiglet

    I don’t think you can even count gaga’s pathetic attempt – the two are so different, you cant compare the staying in the ISS to a quick flyby in a dodgy plane that only scrapes the edge of space.

  • freik0rps

    The SS2 will achieve Low Earth Orbit, which will afford it’s passengers about 8 minutes of weightlessness. Sarah Brightman knows this. That’s why she named one of her dachshunds Leo.

  • Jay

    No it won’t. Not even close. To be in orbit, you have to have 17,000mph + horizontal speed & you have to achieve at least 180nmi+ altitude to be able to sustain it for a few revs. SS2 will barely crack 62nmi altitude with effectively zero horizontal speed. This is on the order of 5% of low earth orbit energy. You need to read up:

  • freik0rps

    …so you didn’t understand that the ‘Low Earth Orbit’ concept described was sarcastically made equivalent to the ‘orbit’ of her dachshund named Leo………..Fine. Whatever. The underlying point of the sarcasm is that Brightman is training as a cosmonaut for six months; a real achievement, while Lady Ga Ga is merely purchasing a ticket to ride up to the edge of space in order to be called ‘first singer in space’.