On the morning of June 16 1963, Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova was dressed in a spacesuit. After completing her communication and life support checks, Valentina was sealed inside the Vostok 6 spacecraft. With a flawless countdown, Vostok 6 launched faultlessly, Tereshkova became the first woman to fly into space. Her call sign in this flight was Chaika – the Russian word for Seagull.
On this mission, lasting almost three days in space, she performed various tests on herself to collect data on the female body’s reaction to spaceflight. Although Tereshkova experienced nausea and physical discomfort for much of the flight, she orbited the earth 48 times and spent almost three days in space. With a single flight, she logged more flight time than the combined times of all American astronauts who had flown before that date.
Valentina was a textile-factory assembly worker before she entered the Russian cosmonaut program. She began her journey to outer space at a young age when she became interested in parachuting and trained in parachuting at the local Aeroclub, making her first jump at age 22 in 1959. It was her expertise in parachute jumping that led to her selection as a cosmonaut.
After the female cosmonaut group was dissolved in 1969,
she became a prominent member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, holding various political offices. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, she retired from politics but remains revered as a hero in Russia.