THE WEEK IN HISTORY
18 May 1991
Helen Sharman is first Briton in space
In 1989, Helen Sharman, a former chemist for the Mars chocolate company, was in her car when she heard a strange advertisement on the radio. It simply said, “Astronaut wanted. No experience necessary.” She decided to apply, and was selected out of 13,000 applicants. After a gruelling 18 months of training, on 18 May 1991, Sharman blasted off into space to become the first ever British astronaut. She spent eight days on board the Mir Space Station conducting experiments.