Valentina Tereshkova 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. She 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. She 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 she 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 she 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 here is my compilation of eight of the best Valentina Tereshkova quotes.
- 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"
"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"
"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"
"I got nervous right before the start. I can't even tell why .... It's hard to be first"
"If women can be railroad workers in Russia, why can't they fly in space?"
"There is no way to describe the joy of seeing the Earth. It is blue, and more beautiful than any other planet"
"I see the horizon. A light blue, a beautiful band. This is the Earth"
"It was breathtakingly beautiful, like something out of a fairy tale"