Valentina Tereshkova – First Woman in Space

Valentina Tereshkova, first woman in space

Valentina Tereshkova is a Soviet cosmonaut, and the first woman to orbit our earth in outer space. Born in Yaroslavi, Russia, Tereshkova survived two wars growing up as a child. She was able to attend school and excelled in all of her studies. As she moved up to 7th grade, she began to think ahead to her future. In 8th grade, Valentina switched to evening classes so that she could work during the day. One day, a friend of her recommended that they take a trip to go skydiving. Although her mother did not approve, Tereshkova became hooked and went skydiving every chance she could get. It was consuming her free time.

Through the skydiving club, Valentina became aware that Cosmonaut Corps was looking for female test pilots for a spacecraft, the first one to orbit earth with a female passenger. The contest being held searched for women around the country, accepting applications and essays about why the women would like to on the trip. Valentina was selected among 30 women to participate in the contest. With careful studying and impressive advancement, Valentina became one of the final five chosen for the flight mission. At this point, the five women were trained just as a man would be, yet unlike a normal space trip, this mission only had room for one woman.

A few weeks later, Valentina Tereshkova was selected to pilot the Vostok-6. It was 1963.

You cannot possibly imagine how beautiful it is. Anyone who sees the Earth from outer space, even only once, cannot fail to be assailed by a sense of reverence and love for this planet that is our home.

Valentina never told her mother she had been selected, ironically enough; she told her mother she was participating in skydiving competitions. Her mother was shocked, yet proud, to see her daughter in space for the first time on the television with the rest of the world.

Even after her famous flight to the outer orbit of our earth, Valentina continued to do great things. For 19 years, she served her neighbors by assisting them with the advancement of civil rights for women, and a women’s rights movement. Currently, she resides in her home and enjoys relaxing with her grandchildren, one of whom wishes to be a pilot himself. Yet this is not the end for Valentina, she eagerly expresses her desire to participate in one way manned mission to Mars on a trip named the “Mars One”. These colonists would attempt to set up a base on Mars, and then ferry important building materials and items between planets via controlled unmanned space robots created for freight.

Tereshkova and Dmitry Medvedev
Tereshkova and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

In all honesty, Valentina is very lucky to be here after her mission, a mistake on the flight initially could have kept her from returning to orbit, killing her, but she was smart enough to catch the mistake in time, and reverse the problem. An intelligent cosmonaut, an amazing student and a loving mother, Valentina Tereshkova is a very talented, lucky woman.

A short documentary on Tereshkova:


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