First 12 Cosmonauts Bios, Photos & Signatures
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Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova


Born: 6 March 1937 at Maslennikovo
Call sign: Seagull
Flight: Vostok 6, 16 June 1963
Flight time: 2:22:50
Family: Married Andrian Nikolayev (later divorced). One daughter, Yelena
Rank: Colonel-Engineer




In 1959, Tereshkova made her first parachute jump and in 1961, she was a graduate cotton-spinning technologist.
Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space on 16 June 1963. She flew on Vostok 6, a joint flight with Vostok 5. The ground-crew claimed she was on the edge of psychological instability and she was not permitted to take manual control.
Russia had two women in space before NASA assigned Sally Ride, some twenty years after Tereshkova.
Shortly after her flight, Tereshkova married Nikolayev, the third cosmonaut in space. It has been reported that Khrushchev applied pressure for the couple to marry so as to study the children of parents who have both been in space. Her daughter, Yelena, is the only person to have had both parents in space.
In 1966, Tereshkova became a member of the World Peace Council, and then elected to the council of the Union of the Supreme Soviet. She was later elected to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and was Vice-President of the Women's International Democratic Federation.
Tereshkova is the only woman to fly solo in a single seat space-craft.