VALENTINA TERESHKOVA: FIRST WOMAN IN SPACE Valentina Tereshkova is the first woman
to have ever entered space, and her main job was to see how her body reacted to it. She was born on March 6, 1937, in Russia. She had not
always dreamed of one day entering space. Instead, her first passion (a love for doing something) was for parachuting and skydiving. She made her first jump at the age of 22, and she became very good at it. Her experience as a skydiver is what qualified
her to become a cosmonaut. After the first male cosmonaut traveled to outer space, the Russian government decided to send a woman into space. Tereshkova was chosen just one year later. Along with her, four other women were chosen to train as cosmonauts. Lucky for Tereshkova, one of the requirements for being a cosmonaut was experience in skydiving! In addition, her father was a war hero who died when she was two. This may have also helped the government choose her. Training as a cosmonaut in Tereshkova’s day was not much different from what it is today. She was prepared for weightlessness and isolation, and trained in engineering. Before takeoff, Tereshkova was required to perform a minimum of 120 parachute jumps. This is because cosmonauts at the time were required to jump from their spacecraft and use a parachute to land safely on Earth’s surface when they returned from their mission. Tereshkova entered space on June 16, 1963, in a spacecraft known as the Vostok 6 , making history as the first woman to enter space. Tereshkova spent about three days in space, orbiting the earth forty-eight times. Up until that point, no one, not even men, had spent that much time in space. What Tereshkova discovered was not much different from what happened to male cosmonauts. She felt a little sick to her stomach and uncomfortable, but she was fine otherwise. This proved that women could perform in space just as well as men could.
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