tereshkova-01And the name of this courageous woman was Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova.

“Chaika” was her radio call.

The success of her flight has become an important step in the development of native cosmonautics and a milestone in the history of manned space exploration. 


Facts of biography

Valentina was born on March 6, 1937, in the Yaroslavl area, in a rural family. Her father was lost in 1939 during the Finnish war. Her mother was left one with three children in her arms. Therefore, as soon as Valentina grew older, she began to help with housework. It may be for this reason that she could not go to a college and began to work at the tyre factory. However, the girl did not despair, she studied at a night school, and later began to work as a cutter at the “Krasny Perekop” textile integrated works, where her mother worked. Afterwards, Tereshkova finished the college of light industry.

A flying club gave Valentina the dream of the sky.


Training for a flight

In 1962 the first selection of women to the corps of cosmonauts was declared. Only 30 candidates of 800 passed medical examination, and only five of them were included in the corps – Valentina Tereshkova, Zhanna Yorkina, Tatyana Kuznetsova, Irina Solovyova and Valentina Ponomareva.

Candidates to the first corps of women-cosmonauts were sought in flying clubs, among parachute jumpers, because a cosmonaut (at that time) catapulted right before the landing and descended by parachute. The initial requirements were: the age – up to 30 years, the body height – up to 170 cm, the weight – up to 70 kg.

Tereshkova was trained in parachute jumps at the Yaroslavl flying club. In addition to 79 (90 by other data) jumps, Valentina had one more privilege of those years: she was a secretary of the committee of VLKSM (AULYCL) of the “Krasny Perekop” integrated works.

Valentina was included in the corps of cosmonauts on March 12, 1962.

Tereshkova’s friends and her mother were sure that Valya was removed from Yaroslavl to the USSR national parachuting team.

The training was serious – in an anechoic room, for example, she spent 2 weeks alone and in ringing silence, then, in a heat-chamber, where a temperature of about 80 degrees was maintained with complete outfit and impossibility to move, as well as a centrifuge and unlimited trainings for survival.

How a female organism will behave in space was unknown even to S.P. Korolev. The Chief designer also participated in the decision-making on the selection of a woman to be sent to space.

"He perused each of us, then asked questions: why, where from, professional occupation; listened attentively; scrutinized each of us ", - Valentina Tereshkova recalls.

The state commission announced the name of the woman, who will fly, two days before the start, though, as girl-friends recall, candidate Tereshkova was given a more attention heretofore as well. A “Soviet simple girl” is pointed out when talking of Tereshkova. That is possibly the main reason why she was selected.


The flight

tereshkova-02June 16, 12:30, is the moment when two soviet spacecraft happened to be in space at once. Valery Bykovsky aboard the Vostok-5 spacecraft started a day earlier. First in the world the commander of the Vostok-6 spacecraft is woman, Valentina Tereshkova.

Tereshkova spent in orbit two days 22 hours and 50 minutes. Her spacecraft Vostok-6 performed 48 revolutions around the earth, and precisely 48 times radio call “It’s me-Chaika” was head at the Mission Control Center. Over the time of flight Valentina became one of the most popular woman in the world.

There was much speculation in press that during the flight Valentina Tereshkova felt not very well. "She had a choice. One her word via radio link and she would be landed securely. The triumph would be the same. The alternative was to fly over two days. She withstood for three days", - Irina Solovyova – a backup of Valentina Tereshkova - told.

The details of the Vostok-6 flight were not disclosed. However, it was clear that there were problems in the spacecraft. At that, the cosmonaut was actually immobile over all 70 hours and 41 minutes, being strapped to the chair.

On June 19, the Vostok descent vehicle, deviated from the course and burnt, landed in an Altai bog.

"A pale face, very tired, in a dark-blue tracksuit. She asked for some water " was a comment by Valentin Agarkov, in 1963 he was an editor of a local newspaper.

“Chaika” came to Yaroslavl, her home, in one month after the flight. The whole city welcomed her. She visited the enterprise - “Krasny Perekop”. Incidentally, the looms at which young Valya worked are kept here up to now.

The wedding 

Immediately after the flight Valentina was proposed to Andrian Nikolaev, cosmonaut #3, as a wife. They were on friendly terms before the “Chaika” flight, but it was precisely then that the public began to press for a wedding. People said that Nikita Khrushchev played a certain part in it.

In several months this pair gave birth to a daughter. Alenka was a very weak child; therefore, it is quite possible that afterwards she chose the profession of a doctor.

Alena Andrianovna is permanent assistant of her mother. One of their latest projects is revival of the Yaroslavl planetarium.


tereshkova-04After the first space flight V.V. Tereshkova dreamed of a new flight into space, however, the death of Yu. A. Gagarin crossed the dream of a repeated flight. Before long, she entered the N.E. Zhukovsky Air Force Engineering Academy and upon cum laude graduation thereof she became a candidate of science (engineering), professor, an author of more than 50 scientific works.

Till 1997 Tereshkova remained in the corps, then, she became a senior researcher at the Cosmonaut Training Center.

Today, V.V. Tereshkova is a deputy chairman of the Committee on International Affairs of the State Duma.

However, even now she takes part in preparation for a flight of a new woman-cosmonaut of our country in 2014. In 50 years after her flight major general Tereshkova does not change the case of the lifetime, tries not to fail to attend the starts of Soyuz vehicles from the Baikonur cosmodrome.


"Significant event"

"Here the key word is "first". At that time, there was the first man in space, the first spacewalk, the first woman" recollects Sergey Krikalev, a Hero of the Soviet Union, a Hero of the Russian Federation (he was the first who was entitled this honorary degree), flight-cosmonaut, the Head of the Yu.A. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. 

To understand the event which took place a half a century ago, in 1963, one should figure to oneself the position of a woman at that time. By the time of spaceflight of Valentina Tereshkova, the Russian “Chaika”, there were no universal suffrage for women even in some European countries, for example, in Spain, Greece, Switzerland. 

At that time, the standard of behavior of an European lady was realized in accordance with three "k" - кinder, кuche, кirche. And then here – Russian “Chaika”! Valentina is the main woman of the planet for many long years.

This flight inspired women of the planet for a new, more active life position. Now, in 50 years after the flight of V.V. Tereshkova, the position of women has substantially changed. Largely, it is defined by the services of Valentina Tereshkova. The USSR contribution to the women’s rights should not be forgotten.  

In addition to Tereshkova, more than 50 women (including two Russian women) visited space. Svetlana Savitskaya (the first woman who carried out a spacewalk) and Elena Kondakova (with the total flight duration of 179 days) performed twice space missions.

Activities in space are serious and hard work. And if a woman appears in a male crew, rough edges are smoothed out, no scandals or dislikes occur. Generally, it is clear that women will take the same position in future missions, which they take in our life on the earth.

On the threshold of the 50th anniversary of the space flight of the first in the world woman-cosmonaut Vladimir Putin met with Valentina Tereshkova, a Hero of the Soviet Union.


Vladimir Putin, the president of RF, pointed out that "When a woman commits acts, which not every of us can afford, it becomes by all means a significant historical event ".

One more award – Order of Alexander Nevsky – was added to tens of Soviet and Russian awards of Tereshkova.


At the native land

In honor of the 50-year jubilee of the Vanentina Tereshkova space flight a grand celebration was held in Yaroslavl on June 16. The famous flight group “Strizhy” performed in an air show. And in the evening the theatrical program “A Legend on Space Yaroslavna” was presented. Numerous guests, among whom her close friends and colleagues were, came to congratulate the first in the world woman-cosmonaut.

Valentina Tereshkova was assigned the title of “An honorary citizen of the Yaroslavl area” for significant services to the Yaroslavl area.



Detailed information on the first woman-cosmonaut You can find on site S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation “Energia” and portal “Yaroslavl Region Government”





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