Intergalactic Brits Sharman and Tim Peake honoured on top 20 space pioneers list

The cosmic contributions of two Britons have been named among the greatest-ever space triumphs.

Helen Sharman becoming the first British astronaut in space in 1991 and Tim Peake’s five-month stay on the International Space Station both made it into the top 20.

Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon, the Apollo 13 crew’s return to Earth and Sputnik becoming the world’s first space satellite ranked at the top.

Research of 2,000 Britons found 35% wished they had seen the Apollo 11 moon landing first-hand.

Over a quarter became more interested in space exploration after this year’s manned Space X launch.

More than 11% think they have what it takes to be an astronaut – and would train for five years to do it.

And one in six of us would consider moving to Mars if it were possible, Disney+ found.

Last year, the UK Space Agency launched a search for its next astronaut in the first recruitment drive in a decade – and members of the public were invited to apply.

Britain’s next astronaut will follow in the footsteps of Major Tim Peake with a trip to the International Space Station, with a selection process due to start next year.

The ideal applicant will be aged between 27 and 37, between 5ft and 6ft 2ins and have a masters degree in science, medicine or engineering.

The ad said that experience as a pilot is a ‘plus’, as is the ability to speak Russian because the rocket trip to the International Space Station will be aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

Denmark’s first astronaut Andreas Mogensen said learning to speak Russian was his biggest challenge.