Helen Sharman's Spaceflown Union Flag

Whole Object Name

Helen Sharman's Spaceflown Union Flag

Collection

Space Oddities

Description

This Union Jack flag was flown by Helen Sharman to the Mir space station in 1991. It was signed by the rest of the crew that flew with Helen, Anatoly Artsebarsky and Sergei Krikalev. It was also stamped with the Mir space station stamp. The signatures and stamps have faded significantly since their return to Earth.

This is the first British flag flown into space by a British person. Helen was selected ahead of over 12,000 other candidates to become Britain's first space traveller as part of the Anglo-Soviet Juno mission in 1991. Helen had responded to an advert seeking an astronaut, ‘no experience necessary.’ Her successful application led to her training at the Soviet Union’s cosmonaut training facility at Star City for her mission, before launching into space on 18 May 1991.

Flags have been flown on many missions throughout space history, as mementos. They are often used to mark significant moments in exploration, such as the first British astronaut.

Object number

2001-38
  • image Union Flag flown by Helen Sharman on board Mir
  • image Union Flag flown by Helen Sharman on board Mir (Front)
  • image Union Flag flown by Helen Sharman on board Mir (Back)
  • image Helen Sharman's official cosmonaut photograph - Credit: Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center
  • image Union Flag flown by Helen Sharman on board Mir
  • image Union Flag flown by Helen Sharman on board Mir (Front)
  • image Union Flag flown by Helen Sharman on board Mir (Back)
  • image Helen Sharman's official cosmonaut photograph - Credit: Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center

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