33 Facts about Valentina Tereshkova – the First Female Cosmonaut

Here is a selection of Valentina Tereshkova facts. She was the first female cosmonaut.

1.            One of the main goals of sending a woman to space was to research the influence of the space environment on a woman as compared to the influence of the same conditions on a man.

2.            A group of women astronauts was prepared using an accelerated program taking into account the experience of first flights–in just 6 months.

3.            Training involved being in a thermal chamber with temperatures up to +70 degrees Celsius. Another exercise – 10 days in the isolation chamber in full soundproofing and insulation from the rest of the world.

4.            Valentina Tereshkova led a group of five women candidates.

5.            Due to the nature of a female body, each female astronaut was supposed to have two understudies.

6.            Valentina Tereshkova was selected as a prime candidate for a flight based on a combination of factors, among which were her background “from lower classes” and communication skills, because after the flight the first woman-cosmonaut would have to perform a number of social functions.

7.            The Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev, had a direct influence on the choice of her candidacy for the space flight.

Valentina Tereshkova, 1962

Valentina Tereshkova, 1962 (Roscosmos)

8.            Yuri Gagarin invested a lot of time and effort in training a group of women astronauts and Valentina Tereshkova.

9.            On June 16-19 of 1963 Valentina Tereshkova completed her landmark space flight, becoming the first woman in space.

10.          The flight duration was 2 days 22 hours and 50 minutes.

11.          During the launch Valentina recited Mayakovsky: “The sky! Take off your hat! I’m coming!”

12.          The first woman flew into space on a spaceship “Vostok-6”.

13.          During the flight, the spaceship made 48 turns around the earth.

14.          Valentina Tereshkova is the only female cosmonaut who completed a solo space flight.

Valentina_Tereshkova_and_Neil_Armstrong

Valentina Tereshkova presenting a badge to U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong in the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City (USSR) / RIAN archive 837790

15.          Valentina Tereshkova alias in space was “Seagull.”

16.          An interesting fact about Valentina Tereshkova. During her space flight, in space there was another spaceship “Vostok-5”, which was piloted by the Soviet cosmonaut Valery Bykovsky.

17.          Valentina Tereshkova and Valery Bykovsky performed several sessions of space communications.

18.          In space, Valentina felt considerable discomfort, being in a tight spacesuit for several days.

19.          In space, Tereshkova barely ate.

20.          During one of the communication sessions, the management center was unable to get in touch with her. It turned out that she was sleeping. Valentina had to be woken up.

21.          Valentina Tereshkova shared a fact that she has been hiding at the request of the chief designer Korolev for 30 years. After a schedule check during the first day of the flight she found a bug in the descent program. The bug was in that instead of landing the program was oriented increasing the orbit. The mistake was corrected, and everything went well.

22.          During the landing the first female astronaut saw a lake underneath. Of course, there would be no problems landing in the water, because she was trained for everything. But it would still be unpleasant. As a result, Tereshkova still managed to land on the ground.

23.          When landing the first female astronaut got a bruise on her face. But for a photo shoot it was quickly concealed.

24.          An amazing fact: Valentina Tereshkova upon landing treated people on the ground with her space food, while she happily enjoyed local food in violation of all rules.

Valentina Tereshkova near a landing spacecraft "Vostok-6"

Valentina Tereshkova near a landing spacecraft “Vostok-6” (Roscosmos)

25.          Tereshkova parents learned about her flight from the news. Valentina told them that he was going to a skydiving competition.

26.          Valentina was taking to a hospital upon landing because she wasn’t feeling good, but the next day everything was fine.

27.          On June 20 in the city of Kuibyshev (now Samara) there was an attempt to show the astronauts Bykovsky and Tereshkova to people, but it ended in crowd rush, there were some victims. Many people on the streets expressed outrage that the astronauts were hidden, but it protected the people from injuries in a stampede that would definitely happen – because everyone wanted to see the astronauts.

28.          In 1964, Valentina Tereshkova had a daughter. This is the first baby in the world whose mother and father were in space.

29.          A nice fact about Valentina Tereshkova: she is already a grandmother of two grandchildren.

30.          Tereshkova became the first female general in the Soviet Army.

31.          In 1969, there was an attempted murder of the Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. The shooter did not know in which car Brezhnev was and fired at the car with the astronauts. Valentina Tereshkova was not injured, but the driver was killed.

32.          The favorite planet of the first woman astronaut is Mars. Valentina Tereshkova dreamed about flying there with the Soviet designer Sergei Korolev.

33.          Tereshkova is ready to fly to the planet Mars, even if the flight will be one way.

The next woman cosmonaut, Svetlana Savitskaya (USSR), went into space only 19 years later, in 1982.

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