Helen Sharman became the first British astronaut in May 1991, spending eight days orbiting the Earth.
A British company was set up to manage the mission and Helen was one of two Britons selected for astronaut training out of almost 13,000 applicants. The mission, named Project Juno, was a cooperative arrangement and would enable the UK to send one of its people into space for the first time.
Join Helen as she talks in front of the backdrop of the Gaia artwork in Chelmsford Cathedral, about the rigorous selection process, which focussed on psychological and medical assessments, including tolerance to high g and motion sickness, technical understanding and practical skills. This was followed by 18 months of intensive training that included preparing for launch, feeling weightless, spacecraft operations, emergency situations, working in space and being part of a crew.
"We should push forward not only our own individual boundaries, but also the boundaries of what humans believe is possible. People are the biggest limitations in our own lives. There’s a huge amount we can do, and we should make the best use of our lives for the benefit of the world."
There are lots of other exciting events happening during the Chelmsford Science Festival, which runs 12-18 October. Take a look at the full programme and book your free tickets today.
The talk will be the final event for the Chelmsford Science Festival and the launch of the Sustainable Futures Research and Innovation theme at ARU.
Through the Sustainable Futures theme, we will work with regional, national, and international stakeholders to lead and support transformations towards equitable societies, resilience, environmental and social justice. We will achieve this through engaging individuals and communities in our research and by sharing our knowledge with those who can use it to make a difference.