July 21, 2024

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Today’s Fact – On this day in 1963 – Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to go into space – Dagblad Suriname

Today’s Fact – On this day in 1963 – Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to go into space – Dagblad Suriname

On June 16, 1963, Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to travel into space aboard Vostok 6. After 48 orbits and 71 hours, she returned to Earth, having spent more time in space than all American astronauts combined up to that time.

Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova was born in 1937 into a peasant family in Maslennikovo, Russia. She started working in a textile factory when she was 18, and at 22 she made her first parachute jump sponsored by a local flying club. Her enthusiasm for skydiving caught the attention of the Soviet space program, which in the early 1960s wanted to send a woman into space as a means of achieving another US “space priority.”

An experienced parachutist, Tereshkova was well equipped to perform one of the most challenging procedures of the Vostok spaceflight: mandatory ejection from the capsule at an altitude of about 20,000 feet during reentry into the atmosphere.

In February 1962, she was selected along with three other female parachutists and a pilot to begin intensive training to become an astronaut.

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