Later this month marks the 25th anniversary of the UK’s first astronaut blasting into space, and she will be at the Science Museum for a talk/question session.

Helen Sharman’s journey into the history books began in 1989 when she, then a food technologist, answered an advertisement that she had heard on her car radio: “Astronaut wanted. No experience necessary.”

She was eventually selected from over 13,000 applicants and she spent 18 months training in Star City before being launched, aged 27, on the Soyuz TM-12 mission, which included Soviet cosmonauts Anatoly Artsebarsky and Sergei Krikalev.

Her journey into space on 18 May 1991 was remarkable because Helen became the first British astronaut and the first woman to visit the Mir space station, where she spent just over a week.


She will be at the Science Museum’s IMAX Theatre with a galaxy of astronauts from half a dozen European countries to discuss their experiences in orbit and what the future holds in store for space.

There will be an opportunity to ask Helen and her fellow astronauts questions. You can also see her Sokol spacesuit in the Exploring Space gallery of the museum.

Helen now works in the chemistry department of Imperial College London, which is celebrating her 25th anniversary along with the museum, UK Space Agency, British Interplanetary Society and Association of Space Explorers.

Early bird tickets cost £6 if bought before Friday 13th May.


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