Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova (Russian: Валенти́на Влади́мировна Терешко́ва) (born March 6, 1937) was the first woman in space, now a retired Soviet cosmonaut.
Out of more than four hundred applicants and then out of five finalists, she was selected to pilot Vostok 6 on the 16th of June 1963 and became the first woman to fly in space. This also made her the first civilian in space (she was only honorarily inducted into the USSR’s Air Force as a condition on joining the Cosmonaut Corps).
During her mission, lasting almost three days in space, she performed various tests on herself to collect data on the female body’s reaction to spaceflight.
Before being recruited as a cosmonaut, Tereshkova was a textile-factory assembly worker and an amateur parachutist.
After the dissolution of the first group of female cosmonauts in 1969, she became a prominent member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, holding various political offices.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, she retired from politics and remains revered as a hero in Russia.