After studying in Sheffield, Dr Helen Sharman got her PhD from Birkbeck, University of London, before starting work at Mars Confectionery in 1987.
But she is best known for becoming the first British astronaut and the first woman to visit the Mir space station 1991. Responding to a radio advert in 1989 for the upcoming Anglo-Soviet Project Juno, Dr Sharman was selected from 13,000 applicants to blast off to the Mir space station.
While on board the space station, Helen carried out various medical and agricultural experiments involving seed growth and protein crystal formation. The mission itself lasted only for eight days, but Helen returned to Britain as a national hero.