Friday, January 20, 2012
Russian (b. 1937)
"Now the name of a woman will stand for centuries among the glorious names of the first discoverers," proclaimed the Soviet Union's news agency Tass when Valentina Tereshkova made history in 1963 as the first woman to fly in space. Over a three-day period about the Vostok, she made forty-eight orbits around the Earth. Tereshkova was chosen for cosmonaut training as one of 5 women out of more than 400 applicants. She was already a skilled parachutist who had made her first jump in 1959. After her pioneering flight, she was honoured as a Hero of the Soviet Union and received the Order of Lenin. She studied at the Zhukovskiy Military Air Academy, graduating in 1969. Tereshkova also held several positions in the Soviet government and the Communist Party. As a spokesperson for the USSR, she received the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace, among other international awards, including the Order of Friendship from Russian President Medvedev this past April. Briefly married to a fellow cosmonaut, she gave birth to the first child of parents who had traveled in space: a daughter, who later became a doctor.
(Source: Library of Congress 2006 Engagement Calendar)
Labels: Wonderful Women.