The first female astronaut. Valentina Tereshkova

On March 6, 1937, in the small village of Bolshoye Maslennikovo (Yaroslavl Region), a girl was born who was destined to become the first woman-cosmonaut - Valentina Tereshkova. My father was a tractor driver in peacetime, and in 1939 he was mobilized and in the same year he died in the Soviet-Finnish war. Valentina's mother worked in a textile factory.

In 1945, Valentina entered the 32nd Yaroslavl school, where she studied for seven classes, and then, to help the family, got a job at a tire factory. Combining work and study, she graduated from evening school, and from 1955 to 1960, without stopping her career, she graduated from the College of Light Industry in absentia.

Throughout her youth, Tereshkova was fond of the sky. She joined the flying club and made 193 parachute jumps, but this was not the limit for her, and Valentina decided to enroll in the female cosmonaut corps. She stayed in the detachment from March 12, 1962 to April 28, 1997. Although the training in the detachment made it possible to fly into space, and also gave the skill to fly an airplane, Valentina recalls how difficult it was during training.

"The load of the female group of five people was more than that of the men, " Tereshkova recalled. - But everyone "had one crazy idea - by all means to be impeccably trained and fly."

On the day of the first flight into space, she told her family that she was leaving for a parachutist competition, they learned about the flight from the news on the radio.

His famous phrase “Hey! Sky, take off your hat, ”Valentina said on June 16, 1963, right before the flight, which lasted 2 days 22 hours and 50 minutes. And then she returned as a legend - the first woman to ever fly into space.

The flight as a whole is considered to be successful, but there were also significant difficulties Valentina experienced. For example, during the entire flight, she could hardly move - the capsule was very narrow, a "tin can", as the designer was called. And no one knew how the female body would react to titanic loads.

The first flight almost ended in tragedy - to return home it was necessary to use manual course correction, and Tereshkova was unable to direct the ship to Earth. It was a matter of improper installation of control wires: commands were given not to descend, but to raise the ship's orbit. Tereshkova was silent about this case for more than forty years, since SP Korolev asked her not to tell anyone about this. After the safe return of Tereshkova, Korolev said: "As long as I live, no woman will fly into space again." And so it happened, the next flight of a woman into space took place only in 1982, 16 years after the death of the great designer.

Soon Tereshkova married the cosmonaut Andriyan Nikolaevaya. On June 8, 1964, Valentina had a daughter, Elena Andriyanovna: the world's first child, whose father and mother were cosmonauts.

Valentina Tereshkova - professor, candidate of technical sciences, author of more than fifty scientific papers, major general of aviation, Hero of the Soviet Union. She was awarded two Orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, the Order of the Red Banner of Labor, the Order of Friendship of Peoples, and medals. Tereshkova was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist Labor of Czechoslovakia, Hero of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, Hero of Labor of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Hero of the Mongolian People's Republic.

An interesting fact - Valentina Tereshkova is still the only woman in the world who made a single space flight. All subsequent female astronauts flew into space only as part of crews.