Future Astronaut with Virgin Galactic and inspirational speaker on everything that’s literally out-of-this-world!
Inspired by the Apollo landings on the Moon, and by the mysteries of space - black holes, the Big Bang and alien life - Professor Nigel Henbest FRAS has spent his life exploring deep space, and communicating the excitement of the Universe and space travel through books, television documentaries and personal appearances.
Nigel is now signed up as an astronaut with Richard Branson's pioneering spaceline Virgin Galactic. He has already undertaken his astronaut training on the zero-gravity flight ('Vomit Comet') and in the centrifuge for high G-forces.
He's been invited to deliver major presentations around the world, from Australia and China, as well as on cruises including the Queen Mary 2. Nigel also leads tours of major international space centres, from the Apollo Mission Control in Houston to the futurist Spaceport America in New Mexico. And he has travelled to the South Pole with Buzz Aldrin.
Born in Manchester, Nigel grew up in Belfast before studying at Leicester University and researching in radio astronomy at Cambridge. A prolific science communicator, Nigel has penned 40 books and 1000 articles that have been translated into 17 languages. His books include The Space Encyclopedia, The History of Astronomy, The Secret Life of Space, The Guide to the Galaxy, and - most recently - Philips Stargazing 2018.
His 60+ television credits include Space Shuttle Discovery, How the Universe Works and Black Holes. He presented Seeing Stars on BBC World Service, and has been chairman of the BBC Radio 4 science quiz The Litmus Test.
In addition, Nigel has been Astronomy Consultant on New Scientist magazine, Editor of the Journal of the British Astronomical Association and Media Consultant to the Royal Greenwich Observatory.