- Mini Bio
- Name: Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova
- Born: 6th March 1937, Bolshoye Maslennikovo, Soviet Union
- Rank: Major General Soviet Air Force
- Occupation: Cosmonaut who was the first woman in space
- Famous for: Being the first woman in space and the only woman to fly a solo mission
- Space time: 71 hours and 12 minutes where she completed 49 orbits of the earth in Vostok 6 on 16th June 1963
- Trivia: Her father Vladimir Tereshkov was a tank commander and a WWII war hero honoured in Russia with a monument built in his name on the Russian side of the Finnish border at Lemetti
"Once you've been in space, you appreciate how small and fragile the earth is"Valentina Tereshkova
"It is I, Seagull! Everything is fine. I see the horizon; it's a sky blue with a dark strip. How beautiful the Earth is ... everything is going well" [radio message from Vostok 6]Valentina Tereshkova
"Americans, Asians, everyone who has seen it says the same thing, how unbelievably beautiful the Earth is and how very important it is to look after it"Valentina Tereshkova
"They forbade me from flying, despite all my protests and arguments. After being once in space, I was keen to go back there. But it didn't happen"Valentina Tereshkova
"My father perished defending our country and my mother brought up her three children. We know the bitterness of that war. We don't need war"Valentina Tereshkova
"The titanic force of the boiling gases tears away the Earth’s gravitation. I feel like the weight reached its limit, but it still grows"Valentina Tereshkova
"When you are up there, you are homesick for Earth as your cradle. When you get back, you just want to get down and hug it"Valentina Tereshkova
"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
"Putin took over a country that was on the brink of disintegration; he rebuilt it, and gave us hope again"Valentina Tereshkova
"I think it’s tremendously important to meet people, to establish a connection and tell people about space"Valentina Tereshkova
"The Soviet Union was important for more than one generation. I am not ignoring the mistakes, the highs and the lows, but as a whole. It is wrong to paint it only in dark colours. There was a lot of good as well"Valentina Tereshkova
"People shouldn’t waste money on wars, but come together to discuss how to defend the world from threats like asteroids coming from outer space"Valentina Tereshkova
"I got nervous right before the start. I can't even tell why .... It's hard to be first"Valentina Tereshkova
"If women can be railroad workers in Russia, why can't they fly in space?"Valentina Tereshkova
"There is no way to describe the joy of seeing the Earth. It is blue, and more beautiful than any other planet"Valentina Tereshkova
"Our planet suffers from human activity, from fires, from war; we have to preserve it"Valentina Tereshkova
"I did night jumps, too, on to land and water - the Volga river"Valentina Tereshkova
"I see the horizon. A light blue, a beautiful band. This is the Earth"Valentina Tereshkova
"It was breathtakingly beautiful, like something out of a fairy tale"Valentina Tereshkova
"We were children of the war"Valentina Tereshkova
"Hello universe"Valentina Tereshkova
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Valentina Tereshkova Biography
Valentina Tereshkova, who was part of Joseph Stalin's last generation, was brought up by her mother in Maslennikovo in central Russia, she never knew her father who died a war hero in WWII. There was a paramilitary flying club local to where she lived which she joined and from an early age learned how to parachute.
Tereshkova quickly became accomplished and was trained in day and night jumping onto land or the more challenging Volga River and she has nearly 100 jumps to her name. She was brave too as she was once famously quoted as saying
"I learned to wait as long as possible before pulling the cord, just to feel the air; 40 seconds, 50 seconds. It’s not really falling; you experience enormous pleasure from the sensation of your whole body. It’s marvellous".
It was this bravery and experience that put her at the forefront of the selection process to be the first female cosmonaut in space. Valentina made the cut and was duly selected to pilot Vostok 6 on 16th June 1963 where in the process of making history she even made more earth orbits than all previous American astronauts combined.
Since her record breaking first space flight Tereshkova became a proverbial part of the Soviet establishment and then the uncrowned queen of Russia such is the esteem she is regarded in her motherland.
From politics to diplomacy to royal weddings and state funerals Valentina has been wheeled out as the acceptable face of Russian achievement. She was prepared to go further than no man would be prepared to go and she even volunteered herself for a one way mission to Mars. Amidst all this she shared many inspirational stories so this is my compilation of 21 of the best Valentina Tereshkova quotes.
Quotes About Valentina Tereshkova
The director of cosmonaut training Nikolai Kamanin spoke in 1961 of Soviet determination:
"We cannot allow that the first woman in space will be American. This would be an insult to the patriotic feelings of Soviet women"
One of the Soviet space program designers Sergei Korolev spoke of her PR capabilities:
"None could compete with Tereshkova in the ability to influence crowds, arouse sympathy among people and appear before an audience"
The Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was over the moon with her achievement:
"Now you see what women are capable of…. I am very proud and feel fatherly pride that it is our girl, a girl from the land of the Soviets that is the first in space"
On her 80th birthday Vladimir Putin sent heartfelt congratulations:
"You have always been an example to us of how you have served the motherland, over time and with different tasks. Today you continue to do so in the Duma"