TODAY IN HISTORY: Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space. On June 16, 1963, she soared to the heavens with the Vostok 6 mission and orbited the Earth 48 times, spending almost three days in space. Fun fact: In order to join the Cosmonaut Corps, Tereshkova was inducted into the Soviet Air Force, but since the distinction was only honorary, she was the first civilian to fly in space. Two records, one trip.
Soviet Union Cosmonauts Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova photographed together in 1965. Gagarin, the first man in space, had accomplished his feat in 1961, while Tereshkova, the first woman to do so, would follow in 1963. In 1968, Gagarin would be killed during Soviet flight training.
Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova (born 6 March 1937) is a retired Soviet cosmonaut and engineer, and the first woman to have flown in space, having been selected from more than four hundred applicants and five finalists to pilot Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963. "Once you've been in space, you appreciate how small and fragile the Earth is."