Classical singer Sarah Brightman has postponed the start of her astronaut training for "family reasons".

The star, who is divorced from theatre mogul Andrew Lloyd Webber, has paid around $52 million (£32.5 million) for a tourist trip to the International Space Station, and she flew to Russia this week (beg12Jan15) to begin training ahead of a planned 4 October (15) launch.

However, she has now delayed the start of her course and left the country.

Alexei Krasnov of the Russian Federal Space Agency tells the country's Tass state news, "She has gone away for family reasons, but she promised to be in Moscow on Sunday... There were no instructions that she had refused to take part in the space flight."

Brightman is due to travel into space with two other passengers and hopes to perform and record a song during her trip.