Dr Helen Patricia Sharman OBE FRSC (born 30th May 1963 in Sheffield, England) was the first British person to go into space. Sharman was a chemist who answered an advertisement to go into space as part of a Soviet mission to the Mir Space Station, co-funded by UK companies. After a rigorous training programme, which included months of Russian language tuition, she spent eight days aboard the station in 1991, during which she performed several scientific experiments. Sharman has since worked extensively as a science communicator and public speaker, promoting issues of leadership, teamwork and motivation.
As well as being the first Briton and the first British woman in space, Sharman was also one of the youngest people to leave Earth, being not quite 28 years old when the mission commenced on 18th May 1991.
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