Tuesday, 16 June 2020


The first and still youngest and only woman to pilot a solo-mission into outer space, Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova (*1947), accomplished engineer and current deputy of the lower house of the federal assembly—one of the few elected representatives to span from the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet to the Russian Duma, was launched into orbit on this day in 1963, spending nearly three days circling the Earth forty-eight times.
An amateur skydiver and in training to be a textile-worker, Tereshkova joined the Cosmonaut Corps and was commissioned as an officer with the first cohort of female space explorers and continued to instruct new recruits until 1997, though not going on another mission herself, despite subsequent re-qualifications. Her call-sign for the Vostok 6 mission was her nickname Seagull—Ча́йка, the asteroid 1671 Chaika so designated in her honour.