Valentina Tereshkova

Valentina Tereshkova


March 6, 1937

Also Known For : Pilot

Birth Place : Bolshoye Maslennikovo, Russia

Zodiac Sign : Pisces

Chinese Zodiac : Ox

Birth Element : Fire

Valentina Tereshkova Biography, Life, Interesting Facts

Valentina Tereshkova was born on March 6th, 1937. She was born in a small village called Bolshoye Maslennikovo in western Russia. She is a former Russian cosmonaut and a politician. She is the first woman to travel to space. She went to the area on June 13th, 1963. In 3 days, she had orbited the earth 48 times. Later on, after her flight to space, she began serving in the Communist Party. It is from here that she was the USSR representative on international occasions.

Early Life

Valentina Tereshkova was born in 1937 to Vladimir Tereshkova, her father, and Elena Fyodorovna Tereshkova, her mother. She was the second born child in a family of three. Her father fought in the World War II where he died when Tereshkova was only two years old. Her mother used to work in a textile mill company and that she raised funds to help in raising her three children.

At the age of 8 years, Tereshkova began going to school. Nonetheless, she left school in 1953. This was not the end of her education as she pursued schooling through correspondence courses. While she was still young, her interest in parachuting was evident, and she began skydiving training.

Valentina did this in a local Aeroclub. By the time she was 22 years, she was in a position to make her first ever jump. Soon, she was an expert skydiver. It is from her skydiving experience that landed her a job as a cosmonaut.She began her cosmonaut training in a space program run by the Soviets.

During her period of training with the Soviets, there was a Space Race between the United States and the Soviets. Each nation wanted to be the first people to reach space. This is the main reason why the Soviets wanted to be the first people to send a woman into space.


Career as a Cosmonaut 

The Soviets had chosen a list of 4 women that would be heading into space. However, Valentina Tereshkova was the only one that managed to go to an area. She traveled to space on June 16th, 1963. She was on board when Vostok 6 was launched. When in space, she orbited around the earth for 70.8 hours. This was in less than three days.

Upon returning from her trip to space, the Soviet Union acknowledged her efforts as the first woman to travel to the area and operate an original equipment. She became the Hero of the Soviet Union - this was the title that she was given.

In 1983, Sally Ride became the first American woman to travel to space.


Personal Life

On November 3rd, 1963, Valentina Tereshkova tied the knot with Andrian Nikolayev. He was also a cosmonaut. They had their first daughter in June the next year and named her Yelena Adrianovna Nikolayeva. Adrianna soon became the first daughter to have a father and a mother that had traveled to space. The couple later separated in 1980. After her divorce, she got married to Yuliy G. Shaposhnikov, who was an orthopedist.