“Anyone who has spent any time in space will love it for the rest of their lives. I achieved my childhood dream of the sky.” — Valentina Tereshkova
Valentina Tereshkova (born in 1937) is a Russian cosmonaut. At the age of 26, she was the first woman and civilian to travel in space, completing 48 orbits of the Earth over three days. On her return, she was awarded the title: “Hero of the Soviet Union.” Despite the mission’s success, it would be 19 years before another Russian woman was sent into space…and another 30 years before an American woman would be allowed to go (Sally Ride.) Valentina, now a retired politician, has said many times that she still longs to return to space.