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  1. ITV Report

Meet the first Briton in space: Helen Sharman

A school in Exeter has had a remarkable visitor - Helen Sharman OBE, a chemist who became the first Briton in space.

She's meeting schoolchildren to talk to them about her remarkable career - which included being selected for the Project Juno space project aged just 27.

She was chosen after responding to a radio advertisement asking for applicants to be the first British astronaut - selected for the mission live on ITV, on 25 November 1989.

13,000
The number of applicants Helen had to beat when she was chosen to go into space.
6th
Youngest person to go into space - aged just 27.
545
The total number of people who have been into orbit.

We asked what that trip into orbit was like:

Helen's visit to a school is part of a lifetime spent inspiring people about science. She still does outreach activities related to chemistry and her spaceflight, and was recently awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the British Science Association.

We asked her why we need to get more children - and more young women - interested in science.

Everybody needs to take an interest in science, I don't think we should segregate bits of society depending on who we are, what chromosome we have inside us.

– Helen Sharman, astronaut