Helen Sharman


Helen Sharman OBE is a British chemist who became the first British astronaut and was the first British person to visit the Mir Space Station. She was one of two Britons selected for astronaut training out of almost 13,000 applicants. She underwent a rigorous selection process which focussed on psychological and medical assessments, technical understanding and practical skills and the ability to learn a foreign language.

Helen later undertook eighteen months of intensive flight training in Star City near Moscow. Among learning many new skills, Helen had to learn to speak Russian, learn how to cope inside a cramped space capsule, prepare for weightlessness and procedures on a sea landing. The Soyuz TM-12 mission, which included Soviet cosmonauts Anatoly Artsebarsky and Sergei Krikalev, launched on Saturday 18th May 1991 and lasted eight days. Most of the mission was spent on the Mir space station.

Sharman landed aboard Soyuz TM-11 on Sunday 26th May 1991, along with Viktor Afanasyev and Musa Manarov. Following her space flight, Helen Sharman became a science communicator and keynote speaker. Helen delivers presentations worldwide discussing topics such as teamwork, leadership and motivation. These topics relate to her career, training and experiences as an astronaut, which she combines with her subsequent management experience.

Helen takes delegates on a journey into Space, describing the seemingly endless training and preparation, the launch, how weightlessness feels, what it is like living and working in space, the team work and team spirit, and adjusting to life back on Earth afterwards.

To book Helen Sharman as the keynote speaker for your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing agent@championsukplc.com or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.

When at corporate events, Helen is known to cover the following topics:

  • Teamwork
  • Leadership & Motivation
  • Space
  • Weightlessness
  • Defying Gravity