Sharman, Helen (1963–)

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Sharman, Helen (1963–)

English astronaut. Born Helen Patricia Sharman, May 30, 1963, in Sheffield, England; dau. of J. D. Sharman; Sheffield University, BS in chemistry, 1984; attended Birkbeck College.

England's 1st astronaut, began career as research technologist for Mars Confectionery (1987); beat out over 13,000 applicants to become UK cosmonaut on Soviet space mission Project Juno; endured 18 months of grueling training at Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Moscow's Star City; became 1st Briton in space (1991), spending 8 days at Mir Space Station, conducting scientific experiments. Received Order of British Empire (OBE, 1992).

See also (with Christopher Priest) Seize the Moment: Autobiography of Britain's First Astronaut (Gollancz, 1994).