The world's first woman cosmonaut, the only representative of the «weaker sex», who made a space flight alone, Hero of the Soviet Union, a member of the Russian Geographical Society Valentina Tereshkova celebrates her anniversary today.
Valentina Tereshkova was born the 6th of March, 1937 in the Maslennikovo village of the Yaroslavl region. She graduated from the College of Light Industry in Yaroslavl in 1960, and then Military Engineering Academy named after N.E. Zhukovsky in 1969, having got the qualification of «cosmonaut-engineer».
Tereshkova started working as a cutter in the assembly shop at the Yaroslavl tire factory in 1954. Then, in 1955, she moved to Yaroslavl combine technical fabrics «Krasniy Perekop». At the same time she was engaged in parachuting in Yaroslavl flying club.
The founder of practical astronautics Sergey Korolev got the idea to send a woman into space in 1962. The criteria for the candidates were as follows: a parachutist, 30 years old, height 170 cm, weight 70 kg. There were chosen five of the hundreds of candidates, and one of them was Valentina Tereshkova. She was enrolled in the cosmonaut corps of the Cosmonaut Training Center Air Force to the listening position and was called call for military service in the rank of the ordinary in March, 1962. Valentina Tereshkova started preparing for the flight to space in a group together with Irina Solovyova, Valentina Ponomareva and Jeanne Erkina.
The 16th of June, 1963 Tereshkova traveled to space flight on the ship «Vostok-6», having spent in orbit for almost three days. The first woman in space made 49 revolutions around the planet, she saw 47 sunrises and overcame about 2 million kilometers of space. Valentina had not told her relatives about her work, and on the day of her flight to the space she told that she was leaving for the competitions of parachutists.
The Callsign of Valentina Tereshkova at the time of the flight was the «Seagull». She told before the start: «Hey! Heaven! Take off your hat! I'm coming to you!» (modified quote from the poem of Vladimir Mayakovskiy «A cloud in pants»).
The 22th of June, 1963 Valentina Tereshkova was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. She became a Major-General in 1955. She had been working in various positions in the cosmonaut corps. She had been a senior fellow at the Center for Cosmonaut Training from the year of 1997.
Valentina Tereshkova has been engaged in social activities all her life. She has been a Deputy of the State Duma of Russia from 2011. She is also being a member of the Russian Geographical Society and takes part in the events of the Society.
The Russian Geographical Society heartly congratulates Valentina on the jubilee!