The World's First Two Women in Space
Valentina Tereshkova and Dr. Sally Ride

These two remarkable women have done much for women's self esteem
and women's rights.  Both come from backgrounds that could not possibly
be more different.  Valentina started school at 8, and stoped her formal 
education at 16 to go to work in a soviet factory.  Sally holds four degrees.
Valentina was born in a provincial part of the former Soviet Union, and Sally
was born in Los Angeles.  Yet both have very much in common, and have
unmatchable achievements to their credit.  Read more below about both
of them, and be sure to watch for upcoming video releases of their interviews
on PBS in 2002, and on future All Planet DVD and Video releases.

Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova

The first woman in space was Valentina Tereshkova. 
She was the pilot of the USSR's Vostok 6,  launched 
in 1963.  Tereshkova orbited Earth 48 times during this flight.
Cosmonaut Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova was born in the Yaroslavl Region of Russia on March 6, 1937.  She began school in 1945 at  eight years old, and at 16 years old,  left school and began working. 
Her education thereafter was augmented by correspondence courses. 

Valentina's hobby of parachute jumping later led to her selection for recruitment into the USSR cosmonaut program. 

In the provincial town of Yaroslav,  she had been working in the cotton mills.  It was here that she  she had set up the Textile Mill Workers' Parachute Club.  She was an active and enthusiastic member of the Communist Party serving as secretary of her local communist youth organisation.
Aside from only having 8 years of formal schooling, Valentina was ideal candidate material for a cosmonaut.
In 1962, Nikita Khrushchev,  Soviet premier at this time, selected only four women  to be trained for the special woman-in-space program.  She left her factory, and became the only one of these first for Female cosmonauts to ever experienced a space mission. 

Valentina boarding the launch vehicle, June 16, 1963

On June 16, 1963, Valentina took off in the Vostok 6, becoming the world's the first woman  in space. 
Vostok 6 completed 48 orbits of Earth during its 70 hour flight,, traveling about 1,242,800 miles in total.
While in space, Valentina made T.V. broadcasts under her code name "Seagull." She also communicated via
radio with cosmonaut Valeriy Bykovsky, who was in orbit at the same time in spacecraft Vostok 5. 
Both spacecrafts returned safely to earth on June 9, 1963. 
At the time Valentina made her historic flight, , she was facing many dangers. 
The Space Industry was in its infancy, on-board fires or crashing were certainly two possible dangers she faced during the mission.
Space sickness is still a constant danger, and it is said Valentina felt nauseous and disoriented
throughout her flight.   Her earlier experience as a parachutist supposedly helped her in the landing, 
although it is said that she did bruised her nose on touchdown.
Valentina was honored with the title "Hero of the Soviet Union" and is a recipient of the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace.

She never flew again, but she did become a spokesperson for the Soviet Union and a member of the Duma. 

In 1963, Valentina Tereshkova married fellow astronaut Andrian Nikolayev. 
Their only child, a daughter named Elena, became quite a subject of interest in the world medical community, due to the fact that young Elena is the first child
born to parents who had both been exposed to space. 

Elena Nikolayeva is a medical doctor living in Russia, and her mother, Valentina now lives in retirement in Star City near Moscow.

Valentina and Elena in 1969

Dr.Sally Ride

This shot is from the recent All Planet interview
filmed with Dr. Sally Ride at Nasa Ames near San Francisco Calidfornia.
Her interview is part of a new program produced by All Planet that includes Dr. Ride as America's first woman in space, and the former Soviet Union's first woman in space - Valentina Tereshkova. 

Dr. Sally Ride became the first American woman to orbit Earth when she performed 
her mission aboard Challenger in 1983.

Sally Ride was born on May 26, 1951 in Los Angeles, California. 
She attended Stanford University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, 
a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, a Masters degree in Physics and a Ph.D. in physics. 
She applied to the US Astronaut Corps after reading an advertisement in a newspaper. 
She entered the US Astronaut Corps in 1978 and completed her training in 1979. 
Both her first and second flights were aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger. 
She left NASA in 1987 to teach at Stanford University. 
Since 1989, she has been at the University of California at San Diego 
as a professor and as head of the California Space Institute.

She has flown on NASA Missions STS-7 and STS-43G
and has logged more than 343 hours in space.

Dr. Ride was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978. In August 1979, she completed a 1-year training and evaluation period, making her eligible for assignment as a mission specialist on future Space Shuttle flight crews. She subsequently performed as an on-orbit capsule communicator (CAPCOM) on the STS-2 and STS-3 missions.

Dr. Ride was a mission specialist on STS-7, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on June 18, 1983. She was accompanied by Captain Robert L. Crippen (spacecraft commander), Captain Frederick H. Hauck (pilot), and fellow mission specialists Colonel John M. Fabian and Dr. Norman E. Thagard. This was the second flight for the Orbiter Challenger and the first mission with a 5-person crew. During the mission, the STS-7 crew deployed satellites for Canada (ANIK C-2) and Indonesia (PALAPA B-1); operated the Canadian-built Remote Manipulator System (RMS) to perform the first deployment and retrieval exercise with the Shuttle Pallet Satellite
(SPAS-01); conducted the first formation flying of the orbiter with a free-flying satellite (SPAS-01); carried and operated the first U.S./German cooperative materials science payload (OSTA-2); and operated the Continuous Flow Electrophoresis System (CFES) and the Monodisperse Latex Reactor (MLR) experiments, in addition to activating seven Getaway Specials. Mission duration was 147 hours before landing on a lakebed runway at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on June 24, 1983.

Dr. Ride served as a mission specialist on STS 41-G, which launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on October 5, 1984. This was the largest crew to fly to date and included Captain Robert L. Crippen (spacecraft commander), Captain Jon A. McBride (pilot), fellow mission specialists, Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan and Commander David C. Leestma, as well as two payloads specialists, Commander Marc Garneau and Mr. Paul Scully-Power. Their 8-day mission deployed the Earth Radiation Budget Satellite, conducted scientific observations of the earth with the OSTS-3 pallet and Large Format Camera, as well as demonstrating potential satellite refueling with an EVA and associated hydrazine transfer. Mission duration was 197 hours and concluded with a landing at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on October 13, 1984.

In June 1985 Dr. Ride was assigned to serve as a mission specialist on STS 61-M. She terminated mission training in January 1986 in order to serve as a member of the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident. Upon completion of the investigation she was assigned to NASA Headquarters as Special Assistant to the Administrator for long range and strategic planning.

Dr. Ride has written a children's book, To Space and Back, describing her experiences in space, has received the Jefferson Award for Public Service, and has twice been awarded the National Spaceflight Medal. Two of her latest books, Voyager: An Adventure to the Edge of the Solar System and The Third Planet: Exploring the Earth from Space are currently in bookstores. Dr. Ride is a physicist, and in 1989 joined the faculty at the University of California, San Diego, as a physics professor. She is also Director of the California Space Institute, a research institute of the University of California.



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