Helen Sharman, CMG OBE

First Briton in Space

Helen Sharman is a pioneer, a role model for people of all ages and world-class inspirational speaker. She became the first British Astronaut when in May 1991, aged 27, she launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft and spent 8 days orbiting the Earth, living and working on the MIR Space Station.

Selected from over 13,000 applicants, she didn't think she stood a chance of being chosen when she applied. Two people were chosen for the rigorous training but only one – Helen – went into Space. Helen was exactly the right person - calm, practical, friendly, professional and a team player.

After MIR, Helen became a science communicator and corporate speaker, winning numerous prizes for radio and TV programmes and for her inspirational talks on teamwork, STEM, science communication and motivation.

Helen was awarded an OBE in 1993. In the New Year Honours List of 2018, she was further awarded a rare and special honour, being made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) for services to Science and Technology Educational Outreach.

Helen believes “We should push forward, not only our individual boundaries, but also the boundaries of what humans believe is possible. People are the biggest limitations in our own lives. There's a huge amount we can do and we should make the best use of our lives for the benefit of the world.”

Image of Helen Sharman, CMG OBE