Luton based Monarch Pilot Tessa Naran is hoping to reach new heights and fulfil her childhood dream in the BBC’s new show ‘Astronauts: Do you have what it takes’.

Born in London, Tessa is a First Officer who has been flying with Monarch for almost two years. Tessa beat 3500 other hopefuls who applied for the show and now she is one of only 12 lucky contestants who will compete to see if they have what it takes to go into space.

The 32 year old’s childhood dream of becoming an astronaut started when her father brought home some space food he was given at a talk by astronaut Helen Sharman. From then Tessa’s ambition grew and indulging her childhood love of space, the family visited the Kennedy Space Centre and Cape Canaveral in USA.

Her dreams of going into space continued and after school Tessa went on to study Physics with Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. From there becoming a pilot was the natural choice. She commented: “I knew the closest thing to being an astronaut without going into space was being a pilot, so I worked towards saving for a deposit for my pilot training and realised that part of my dream.”

Talking about the show, Tessa said:  “I received an email from a close friend of mine who saw the advert and immediately thought of me because I have always spoken about becoming an astronaut.

“I just had to apply. I am a big believer in just going for it and I will always work towards my dreams. I am so proud to have made the final 12 knowing over 3,500 people applied to be on the show. It was an incredible experience and a so challenging but I loved every minute – and now you’ll have to watch to find out just how I did!”

The new series, Astronauts: Do you have what it takes starts on BBC Two, Sunday 20 August at 21:00.