Stephen Baxter applied to become an astronaut in 1991. He didn't make it, but achieved the next best thing by becoming a science fiction writer, and his novels and short stories have been published and have won awards around the world. His science background is in maths and engineering. He is married and lives in Buckinghamshire.
'A luminous collection... Baxter can overwhelm you with a traditional SF "sense of wonder" until your jaw drops' SFX on Vacuum Diagrams