Valentina Tereshkova

Seventy-five years ago today — March 6, 1937 — the first woman to venture into space was born in the Soviet Union.

(Valentina Tereshkova. Image from

Valentina Nikolayevna Tereshkova was born in Maslennikovo in the Yaroslavl Region of Russia. In her 20s, she was working in a textile factory and became an amateur parachutist; her experience in parachute jumping was a key factor in her selection for the program to put a woman in space.

On June 16, 1963, Cosmonaut Tereshkova rode into space atop a Vostok-6 rocket out of Baikonur Cosmodrome. She spent nearly 3 days in space, and orbited the Earth 48 times in her 70.8 hour flight.

Upon completion of her mission, Tereshkova was honored with the title Hero of the Soviet Union. She went on to earn a doctorate in engineering and became very active in Soviet politics.

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