Madonna will not be sent into space, despite a lawmaker’s proposal to book a seat for the pop star on a Russian flight to the international space station, news agencies reported Wednesday.
State Duma member Alexei Mitrofanov, referring to Madonna’s reported expression of desire to become a “space tourist,” proposed that the lower house of parliament send a formal inquiry to the Russian space agency about organizing a space trip for her in 2008.
“Because of the television possibilities, it would be a pretty serious event in the year of elections in the United States and Russia,” he was quoted as saying by the RIA-Novosti news agency.
The Duma turned down the proposal, agencies reported without specifying the vote tally.
Later, space agency spokesman Igor Panarin was quoted by RIA-Novosti as saying no seats on the Soyuz spacecraft would be available until 2009.
“Taking into account her good physical preparedness and financial capabilities, the dream of [Madonna] Louise Ciccone of a space flight could be realized in 2009,” Panarin was quoted as saying.
Like many Russians, he didn’t use the 48-year-old pop singer’s first name, apparently sensitive to the Russian Orthodox Church’s objections to her use of religious imagery, especially crucifixion, in her “Confessions” world tour performances.
Madonna took the stage at Luzhniki Stadium on Tuesday night, where a crowd of about 35,000 watched her perform in spite of religious protesters’ threats to disrupt the concert. No disorder was reported.
Three private individuals have paid a reported $20 million each to be launched on 10-day trips to the international space station. American Anousheh Ansari is to become the fourth — and the first female — in a Sept. 18 launch.