goGIRL’s: Taking the World One Sky At A Time - July Edition_______________________________________________________________________
Challenging the depths of space and disrupting gender discrimination, Tereshkova was the first woman to go into space.
By: Haley Guerin
For some women, the sky is not the limit. It is the beginning of a journey. Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to go into space in 1963, shattering the belief that aviation is a field reserved for men. During this period, she orbited Earth forty-eight times! However, this is not to say that her road to success was easy.
Born to collectivist farmers in Soviet Russia, Tereshkova had to learn how to fend for herself. She was forced to leave school at a young age to work in the textile factory and she became self-educated. Tereshkova quickly grew into a woman with calloused hands and a brave heart. She developed an interest for parachute jumping which allowed her to qualify for an intense 18 month space training program. During this extremely difficult time, her skills were put to the test against other candidates. She was chosen to be the pilot of Vostok 6, spending over seventy hours in the isolation of space. However, her success was not confined to the small space inside of Vostok 6 .
Tereshkova was awarded the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace and the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Her legacy expands far beyond awards as she has become a global symbol of gender equality, especially in aviation. Millions of women around the world are challenging gender based discrimination to soar to the skies on the wings of equality. Her bravery and spirit are not uncommon, rather they are representative of all women around the world working to break traditional ideologies. Fierce, strong, and united, women are taking to the skies with an unshakable determination.
Eager for more on Valentina Tereshkova?
Check out this link: Sharp, Tim. “Valentina Tereshkova: First Woman in Space.” Space.com, Space.com, 23 Jan. 2018, www.space.com/21571-valentina-tereshkova.html.