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Helen Sharman on being an astronaut

Jim Al-Khalili talks to the first British astronaut, Helen Sharman, about some of the less glamorous aspects of being in space and the difficult process of coming down to Earth.

Before Helen Sharman replied to a rather unusual radio advertisement her life was, in many ways, quite ordinary. She was working as a chemist in a sweet factory, creating and testing flavours. Much to her surprise, her application to be an astronaut was successful and two years later, following an intense 18 month training course at a military base just outside Moscow, she was selected for Project Juno, the 1991 mission to the Soviet space station, MIR. And so became the first British astronaut. On the 25th anniversary of this historic mission, Helen talks to Jim about her life before MIR; some of the less glamorous aspects of being in space; and the difficult process of coming down to earth.
Producer: Anna Buckley.

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28 minutes

Broadcasts

  • Tue 15 Mar 2016 09:00
  • Tue 15 Mar 2016 21:30

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