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First Woman in Space Marks 75th Birthday
6.03.2012 14:10
First Woman in Space Marks 75th Birthday
Valentina Tereshkova

Today, on March 6, a Soviet cosmonaut, the USSR's hero and the world's first spacewoman, Valentina Tereshkova, celebrates her 75th birthday.

      In 1960s there was a widespread belief that the woman's organism couldn't bear such a severe test, as space overloads. But Tereshkova was able to disprove all these ideas.

      Being a common girl from a small village of Maslyonkon, Yaroslav region, she was always fond of parachuting and made 163 brolly jumps. That's why, on February 16, 1962, Valentina Tereshkova was selected to join the female cosmonaut corps and was chosen out of more than four hundred applicants.

       The entire program was shrouded in secrecy. Going to trainings for space, Tereshkova told everybody she trained in an elite skydiving team. Tereshkova's mother learned the truth about her daughter's real profession only when the date of the flight was announced on the radio.

      Valentina Tereshkova was chosen to fly aboard Vostok 6, scheduled for a June 16, 1963 launch date. Her flight lasted 48 orbits totaling 70 hours 50 minutes in space. She spent more time in orbit than all the U.S. Mercury astronauts combined. By the way, Tereshkova was also the first cosmonaut without any special flying training - she'd never been a military pilot, like all her predecessors in space.

      Valentina Tereshkova received the Order of Lenin and Hero of the Soviet Union awards for her historic flight. Like Yuri Gagarin, she traveled all around the world, presenting achievements of the Soviet science and engineering. In 2000 Valentina Tereshkova received the Greatest Woman Achiever of the Century award in London. 

Rossiiskaya Gazeta Image:

      Archive Video about Tereshkova's flight


Author: Julia Alieva

Tags: Valentina Tereshkova space Russian cosmonauts Russian cosmonautics  

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