Valentina Tereshkova was a Russian cosmonaut. In 1963 she became the first woman in history to go into space. She spent almost three days in space piloting the Vostok 6 spacecraft. She orbited the Earth 48 times. Following her mission Tereshkova was honoured with the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
Valentina Tereshkova was born on March 6, 1937 in Bolshoye Maslennikovo, a village about 275km north of Moscow. She was chosen for the women-in-space programme from over 400 applicants because of her expertise as a parachutist. Following training Tereshkova was launched into space from Baikonur Cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan on June 16th 1963.
Together with operating the spacecraft Tereshkova maintained a flight log and took photographs. During the mission she spoke with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. She spent 2 days, 22 hours and 50 minutes in space.
Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to have flown in space, returned safely to earth in the year 1963 On This Day.