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She’s Out Of This World

It’s not one small step, but a giant leap for Liverpool as the city welcomes the first Briton in space – Helen Sharman CMG OBE.

Britain’s first astronaut is heading to the city in June as part of River Festival Liverpool and will take part in two unique events under the huge 23ft replica earth in Liverpool Cathedral.

Just last week it was announced that Luke Jerram’s installation Gaia is coming to Liverpool as part of the festival’s creative programme. The artwork will be on public display from Saturday 25 May and a series of events will be programmed to take place under the earth until Sunday 2 June.

The two events Helen will take part in are:

Out of This World – Taking place on Sunday 2 June from 6.30pm, Helen will talk about her experience of space travel and the intense preparation that went into her launching into the history books in May 1991. She will touch upon the meticulous training and preparation as well as reflecting on the importance of teamwork, leadership, communication and motivation. Helen will also take part in a question and answer session. Tickets cost £12 for adults and £10 for under 16s (over 10s only) plus £1 booking fee.

How to be an astronaut – This is a private event aimed at school pupils from Year 6 and above. During this session, Helen will focus on the wonder of science, talking about her eight days spent orbiting the earth and her time living and working on the MIR Space Station. Any schools interested should visit Tickets will be £5 per student and teachers go free with every ten pupils. Additional staff/adult tickets will be £8 per person. There will be £1 booking fee per ticket.

For more information or to buy tickets visit

Helen Sharman CMG OBE said:

“I’m delighted to be taking part in River Festival Liverpool in the prestigious Liverpool Cathedral under Luke Jerram’s amazing earth art work Gaia. This event should be truly out of this world.”

Director for Culture in Liverpool, Claire McColgan, said:

“We are delighted to welcome such an inspirational figure as Helen to Liverpool and I can’t think of a more fitting location than under the earth!

“It’s a real coup to welcome her to Liverpool – her achievements are incredible and I’m sure both her talks will capture the imaginations of the audience.

“To hear from someone who has travelled in space is fantastic, but Helen is the first Briton in space which adds a new dimension and a real gravitas to the event, that I’m sure it will be hugely popular.”

The Very Rev Dr Sue Jones, Dean of Liverpool said:

“The opportunity to hear such an inspirational person as Helen Sharman, the UK’s first astronaut, talking about viewing the Earth from space while encountering Luke Jerram’s Gaia installation in Liverpool Cathedral will be an outstanding experience; it will be out of this world.”

Keep up to date by following River Festival Liverpool on Facebook and Instagram and @riverfestlpool on Twitter #RiverFestival

The events also forms part of Liverpool’s Rise programme which celebrates extraordinary women. Find out more at, follow @Rise_Liverpool on Twitter and Instagram and use #RISEwithUS.