A 27-year-old scientist has been chosen to be Britain's first astronaut, and she'll fly in an Anglo-Soviet mission in May, the Soviet bank financing the mission announced Friday.

Helen Sharman, a motorcycle-riding chemist who develops recipes for the Mars candy company, said she had been training for more than a year in the Soviet Union."I would rather fly in space than cross Leninsky Prospect," a busy part of Moscow, Sharman told a news conference at the Moscow Narodny bank in London.

More than 13,000 candidates applied for the mission, which will carry out six days of experiments in weightless conditions aboard the Soviet Mir space station.

Sharman, who comes from Surbiton, south London, said: "I don't get upset easily. I don't get scared, I don't get depressed and I fit a lot in my life."