Valentina Tereshkova

  • Valentina Tereshkova in 1969
    Credit: RIA Novosti Archive
    Name: Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova
  • Born: 6th March 1937
  • Nationality: Russian
  • Occupation: astronaut, engineer, politician
  • Time in space: 2 days, 23 hours, 12 minutes

Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to travel to space. She piloted the Vostok 6 mission in 1963, and completed 48 orbits of the Earth during her time in space.

As a child, she was interested in parachuting and became an amateur skydiver. Her expertise in skydiving led to her joining the astronaut training program. To qualify for the program, the astronauts should have experience as a parachutist, be under 30 years old, shorter than 170 cm tall, and under 70 kg in weight.

After her spaceflight, Valentina studied at an Air Force academy and graduated as an astronaut engineer. In 1977, she was awarded a doctorate in engineering.