7 First Woman In Space

First Woman In Space

Posted on August 17, 2013 by team


The first spacecraft piloted by a woman, “Vostok-6″ was launched in July 16th, 1963. That woman was a citizen of the Soviet Union – valentina Tereshkova. She flew into space alone. The call sign of Valentina for that flight was “Chaika” (“Gull”), the phrase she pronounced before the launch was “Hey! Sky, take your hat off!”.

The world first female cosmonaut was chosen from the number of parachutists. After the first successful flights of Yuri Gagarin and German Titov it was decided to send a woman into space. It was a political decision. The country had to first in this, too.

They started to search for candidates in the very end of 1961. they were required to be parachutists, under 30 years old, not taller than 170 cm, not heavier than 70 kg. Why parachutists? Because the cosmonaut of the “Vostok” had to catapult after breaking of the lander in the atmosphere and land with a parachute while the preparation time was rather short – half a year only.

Intially five women were selected from fifty candidates. Valentina Tereshkova was one of them. All of them except Valentina Ponomareva who was a pilot, were parachutists. Tereshkova had been parachuting since 1959, performed about 90 jumps.

The selected women all together hoped they would fly into space sooner or later anyway. In fact they were all promised that to keep the friendly atmosphere in the team.

But it didn’t happen. They were really planned to be sent into space and were preparing for that for some years more after the flight of Tereshkova but in October 1969 their female team was disbanded. So only Valetina Tereshkova got a chance to become a cosmonaut.

Valentina had two backup pilots: Irina Solovyova and Valentina Ponomareva.

Why was it Tereshkova who was chosen among them all? They never reasoned that but according to the main version the choice was mostly political. She was a labouring woman whose father died in the Soviet-Finnish war when she was two. Nikita Khruschev probably wanted the first female cosmonaut represent the commonalty.

She was born in the family of a tractor driver and worker of a textile mill and met the requirements better than others. However some other candidates were stronger according to the opinion of doctors. Thus, irina Solovyova was a master of parachuting sport and had 700 jumps behind. According to one of the versions Sergey Korolev planned one more flight with stronger candidates – Solovyova and Ponomareva.

The initial plan was to send two women into space in two separate spacecrafts but in spring 1963 they denied that idea. So in July, 14th, 1963 they sent Valery Bykovsky into space on “Vostok-5″ spacecraft. That flight is still considered to be the longest solo flight – he spent almost five days in space that was two days longer than Valentina Tereshkova did.

Relatives and the family of Tereshkova knew about the flight only when it was finished. It could end tragically so Valentina wanted to keep that in secret. She told the family that she was going to the parachuting competition. They heard the truth later – on the radio.

There was an error in the automatic program of the spacecarft “Vostok-6″, instead of flying to the Earth, Tereshkova was flying away from it. “Chaika” informed the flight control centre about the error and they managed to adjust the program. This fact was revealed only recently, by the way.

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7 Responses to “First Woman In Space”

  1. john says:

    a brave lady.

  2. wnaas says:

    I dont know theres a kitchen in space….

    sorry, I had to do this…

  3. A.Oscar says:

    When any adventure like Valentina did in Space was and still is a proud facto which Russian citizens must feel it too. When the cause of any adventure: must be for the progress of human kind and give continuation to the human beings too. I think should be time now for the World Leaders to work for peace: and cure this planet differently way to do with environment special to stop once and for all combustion engines from crude supply combustive way of energy.

  4. James says:

    Cool, but couldn’t they have picked a looker?

  5. Jean says:

    RUSSIAN Woman Nobody of the western woman comes even close to them.

  6. Adolfo Camara says:

    We learned of her in primary school! She was in our textbook.

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