Great Britain has a long history of contributing to the field of space exploration, but as of 2021, it does not have its own human spaceflight program. However, British astronauts have flown on space missions as part of international partnerships.
In 1991, Helen Sharman became the first British astronaut to travel to space, flying to the Mir space station as part of a Soviet mission. In 2015, Tim Peake became the first British astronaut to fly under the European Space Agency (ESA), spending six months on the International Space Station (ISS). In 2021, Peake was followed by British astronaut, Major Tim Peake was followed by ESA astronaut and UK citizen, Samantha Cristoforetti, who also spent six months on the ISS.
In recent years, the UK government has made significant investments in space technology and infrastructure, and has expressed a desire to develop its own space launch capability. In 2021, the UK Space Agency announced funding for several space launch projects, including the development of a horizontal launch spaceport in Scotland.
The UK is also home to several private space companies, including Orbex, Skyrora, and Virgin Orbit, which are developing their own launch vehicles and satellite technologies. It remains to be seen whether the UK will pursue its own human spaceflight program in the future, but it is clear that the country is committed to advancing its presence in space.