Monday, 10 June 2013

One Medium Step For a Woman

It was a different time, and only fifty years ago. The Americans had put chimpanzees into orbit, the Soviets a dog, and both had put men into space. But what next? Horses? Wildebeest? Wait! why not...a woman?

Left, USSR reports a brave hero, centre, the USA salutes a 'Space Cuite'
and right Britain snickers at the very idea of a lady in orbit. Bad show Old Bean.
In 1963, when that was a preposterous idea, it actually came true- the Soviet Union put a woman into space. Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova [Валенти́на Влади́мировна Терешко́ва] then 26, and a textile factory assembly worker, was selected from more than four hundred applicants to pilot Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963, as the first civilian to fly in space. Her three day flight was to determine if females reacted differently than males (or animals) while weightless. It was a triumph for the Soviet space programme- It would be twenty years before another woman went into space.
Read more about Valentina Tereshkova here
Hear about her on a new BBC programme for 5 more days here

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