Nikolaeva-Tereshkova, Valentina Vladimirovna
Born Mar. 6, 1937, in the village of Maslennikovo, Tutaev Raion, Yaroslavl Oblast. Soviet pilot and cosmonaut; colonel of engineers (1970). Candidate of Technical Sciences (1976). Hero of the Soviet Union (June 22, 1963). Member of the CPSU since 1962. Daughter of a kolkhoz worker.
Nikolaeva-Tereshkova began working in the Yaroslavl Tire Plant in 1954. From 1955 to 1960 she worked at the Krasnyi Perekop Yaroslavl Industrial Fabrics Combine. In 1960 she graduated from the Yaroslavl Correspondence Technicum of Light Industry. As a parachuting enthusiast in the Yaroslavl Flying Club, she made 163 jumps. In 1962 she joined the cosmonaut team. Nikolaeva-Tereshkova was the first woman in space (June 16–19, 1963). Piloting the Vostok 6 spacecraft in a combined flight with V. F. Bykovskii (in Vostok 5), she completed 48 orbits of the earth and traveled about 2 million km in 70 hr 41 min. In 1969 she graduated from the N. E. Zhukovskii Air Force Engineering Academy.
Nikolaeva-Tereshkova was a deputy to the seventh to ninth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Since 1968 she has been chairman of the Committee of Soviet Women, and since 1969, vice-president of the International Democratic Federation of Women. She is a member of the World Peace Council. At the Twenty-fourth Congress of the CPSU (1971), she was elected a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU. She has been awarded the Order of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, and medals, as well as many foreign orders. She has received the titles of Hero of Socialist Labor of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the People’s Republic of Bulgaria, Hero of Labor of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and Hero of the Mongolian People’s Republic. A crater on the far side of the moon has been named in honor of Tereshkova.