Valentina Tereshkova, a woman of humble beginnings and the daughter of a tractor driver not only became the first woman to venture out into space but also left a precedent for all other cosmonauts who followed.
The Russian cosmonaut made her journey into space on 16 June 1963, and returned down to the stratosphere 3 days later on June 19th.
The 26 year old cosmonaut was selected out of a list of 400 potential applicants after the chief Soviet rocket engineer, wanted Russia to be the first nation to put a woman in space. During this historic and monumental flight Tereshkova orbited the earth 48 times, by spending almost three days in space she made history with more recorded flight time than any other astronaut who had flown before her.
Not only did Tereshkova become the first woman to go into space but also helped expand our own limited knowledge about the Earth and its atmosphere. The pictures she took of the horizon she saw while on board the Vostok 6 were used by scientists to identify certain aerosol layers in our atmosphere
According to reports, the training Tereshkova engaged in was exceedingly difficult with, isolation tests, weightless flights centrifuge tests, spacecraft engineering, 120 parachute jumps and pilot training in MiG-15UTI jet fighters.
Although the young cosmonaut was in much discomfort throughout the flight, she persevered, becoming an inspiration for women worldwide.