Valentina Nikolayeva-Tereskova was born in the former Soviet Union in 1937.
Valentina started working at the age 17. During this time, she also attended evening school. Valentina found recreation by enjoying parachuting at Yaroslavl Air Club which would eventually lead her into wanting to become a cosmonaut.
Tereskova's desire to fly in space became reality on June 16, 1963. Before joining the cosmonaut corps, she was not a pilot and had no aviation background. Valentina was the first woman ever, world wide, to go up into space. She was also the 6th Soviet to go up in to space and the 17th person world wide.
On Tereskova's trip into space on Vostok 6, she made 48 orbits around the Earth at an altitude of 145 miles. She was in space 17 hours longer than all the Mercury astronauts put together. Her whole trip lasted 70.8 hours. During her flight, she rendezvoused with another cosmonaut, Valery Bykovsky, who had been in space since June 14. She later married fellow cosmonaut Andrian Nikoleyeva.
Valentina was a women who made a significant turn in history. Without her going into space for the first time, we might still be waiting for the first woman to go into space. She courageously stepped out into what was still new, even to men, thus opening the path to the stars for women, as well as men.