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Home > NASA Space Photos > 8x10 Portraits K-Z
Cosmonaut Helen Sharman First UK Citizen in Space 8"x10" Full Colour Portrait
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Cosmonaut Helen Sharman 

Helen Sharman - The First U.K. Lady of Spaceflight.

8" x 10" Full Colour Portrait.

Britain's first astronaut, 27-year-old Helen Sharman from Sheffield, blasted into orbit onboard the Soyuz TM-12 spacecraft securing her place in history on May 18th 1991.

Helen Patricia Sharman, OBE, was born on the 30th May 1963 in Sheffield.

She was the first Briton in space, visiting the Mir space station aboard the Soyuz TM-12 spacecraft with fellow crewmen Anatoly Artsebarski and Sergei Krikalev. She spent eight days conducting scientific experiments onboard the station.

She received a B.Sc. in chemistry at the University of Sheffield in 1984 and a Ph.D. from Birkbeck, University of London. 

Helen was driving home from work, she heard on the radio that a British astronaut was needed for a Soviet space mission travelling to the Mir Space Station. No experience was needed, but applicants had to have a science background and the ability to learn a foreign language.

Helen beat 13,000 British hopefuls to be selected for the Juno Project in November of 1989. The Juno Project was part of a joint agreement between the then Soviet Union and a group of British companies. At the time of her selection as a research cosmonaut she was working for the confectionery giant Mars. She was dubbed by the press at the time as 'The girl from Mars'

Helen has become one of the country's leading ambassadors for science, giving lectures around the world. She was awarded the OBE in 1992 and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Royal Aeronautical Society and the British Interplanetary Society.