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Valentina Tereshkova
Stories of inspiration from Smart Girl Stories across the globe. Valentina Tereshkova – First Woman In Space

Valentina Tereshkova – First Woman In Space

On June 16, 1963, the world changed forever. That was when Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space. She was only 26 years old at the time, and she had no previous experience as an astronaut. However, she was determined to make her country proud, and she did just that!

Early Life

Tereshkova was born in 1937 in Maslennikovo, a village northeast of Moscow. She left school when she was just 16 years old and worked at a textile factory while continuing her education through correspondence courses. After joining the Yaroslavl Air Sports Club, Tereshkova became interested in parachute jumping.

Although she did not have any experience as a pilot or with space, she was accepted into the program because of her accomplished 126 parachute jumps. It was common practice for cosmonauts at this time to have to parachute from their capsules seconds before they hit the ground on returning to Earth.

The Mission

On June 16, 1963, Tereshkova became the first woman in space aboard the Russian spaceship Vostok 6. She orbited Earth 48 times during her three-day mission, spending more than 70 hours in space… ALONE! To this day, she remains the only woman to have ever embarked on a solo space mission and is also the youngest person to ever go to space.

Upon returning to Earth, Tereshkova became a spokesperson for the Soviet Union. While fulfilling this role, she was awarded the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace.

After Tereshkova returned, it was another 19 years until another woman traveled to space. This woman was another astronaut from the USSR, Svetlana Savitskaya.

Would you ever volunteer to go into space? Let me know in the comments below if you are brave enough to get on a rocket ship to the moon!

This blog post was co-written by Hannah and Sarah, a contributing writer to SMS.

Fast Facts

Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman in space.

Down below are some fun facts about her:

– On June 16, 1963, she became the first woman in space aboard the Russian spaceship Vostok 6.

– She orbited Earth 48 times, spending more than 70 hours in space… ALONE!

– She remains the only woman to have ever embarked on a solo space mission. She also remains the youngest woman to ever go to space. She was only 26!

– Upon returning, she became a spokesperson for the Soviet Union. While fulfilling this role, she was awarded the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace.

– After she returned, it was another 19 years until another woman traveled to space. Astronaut from the USSR, Svetlana Savitskaya.

For more information on Valentina Tereshkova:

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Valentina-Tereshkova
https://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/about-us/press-office/first-woman-space-open-science-museum-exhibition-dedicated-her-life
https://www.amazon.com/Valentina-Tereshkova-First-Woman-Firsts/dp/0823962466
https://sheheroes.org/heroes/valentina-tereshkova/
Hannah

Hannah

Founder, Smart Girl, Survivor, Champion of womens rights and kids rights

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