The First British Person To Go Into Space Said She Believes A̳l̳i̳e̳n̳s Are Real And They May Be Among Us.
Helen Sharman spent eight days in space as an astronaut, serving as a crew member on the Russian Mir space station. It was a fascinating experience that made her feel she had played a part in helping humanity to discover more about the universe.
In an interview published Sunday, she told the Observer magazine about her belief in e̳x̳t̳r̳a̳t̳e̳r̳r̳e̳s̳t̳r̳i̳a̳l̳ existence. “There are so many billions of stars out there in the universe that there must be all sorts of different forms of life,” she said. These beings may not be made of carbon and nitrogen (two of the composite elements in the human body) but rather of materials unseen by the human eye. “It’s possible they’re here right now and we simply can’t see them,” Sharman said.
Dr. Sharman was recognised in the 2018 New Year’s honours list and joined the Order of St Michael and St George. Elsewhere in the interview, she pointed out the s̳e̳x̳ism in the assumption that the first British astronaut must have been a man. “People often describe me as the first British woman in space, but I was actually the first British person,” she said. “It’s telling that we would otherwise assume it was a man.” Sharman, 56, is a chemist at Imperial College in London.
Though Sharman may be one of the first astronauts to share their beliefs in a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳ life forms unknown so publicly, she isn’t alone. Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins, when asked on Twitter if he believed in life outside Earth, responded “yes” – without any further context.
NASA astronaut Michael Collins believes in a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳ life outside of Earth (Image: NASA/GETTY)
Beyond the belief that there are a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳ life forms and they could be among us, Ms. Sharman gained further insights. She shared being in space taught her it’s people, not material goods, which truly matter. She recognized that she had all she needed to survive: the right temperature, food and drink, safety. She did not think about the physical items owned on Earth while in space. What she did realize is “When we flew over specific parts of the globe, it was always our loved ones we thought of down below us.”
As an experienced astronaut, Ms. Sharman has advice for young people interested in a career in space. Sharman found her opportunity to go into space through her work as a scientist, and she would definitely encourage young people to think of a career in science. Science opens up the world – it’s such an interesting topic that enables you to play a part in discovery and making our world better.
Sharman shared she almost decided not to apply for the Mission, and if she didn’t just give it a try, she would not have travelled into space at all.
She said: As my mum used to tell me: ‘If you don’t try something, you’ll never know what might have happened.’
Radio interview with Helen Sharman for Oxygen 107.9fm , May 2017