The Complicated Legacy Of Valentina Tereshkova, The Only Woman To Ever Fly Solo In Space

Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, once revered as the first woman in space, has since become a woman in her bid to keep President Vladimir Putin in power, a controversial figure.

In June 1983, Americans gathered in front of television to watch Sally Ride make history as the first American woman to go into space — but she wasn’t the first.

In fact, that honor belongs to Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, who performed a historic single 20 years ago, in June 1963, on the Soviet Union’s Vostok 6 space shuttle. World history is made in the task of man. At the time, she was also the youngest woman and the 10th person ever to fly into space, orbit the Earth 48 times, and return successfully.

She became a member of Russia’s parliament in 2011 and came under fire in 2020 for supporting a constitutional amendment that would keep President Vladimir Putin in power until 2036. The move was largely rejected, along with two petitions calling for her name to be removed from the streets and to be addressed honorably.

As for her historic astronaut career, Tereshkova said: “Anyone who has ever spent time in space will love it for the rest of their life. I fulfilled my childhood dream of heaven.”


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