March is Women’s History Month and on the anniversary of the very first Spacewalk, News 4 This Morning is taking a look at the first two women in space.
Valentina Tereshkova was a textile worker who was selected from a large pool of applicants to be the first woman in space by the Soviet Union. She underwent rigorous training and would make history as part of the Vostok 6 mission launched on June 16th, 1963. Battling nausea and other physical discomfort, she orbited the earth four dozen times, staying in space for nearly three days. At the time, her single flight lasted longer than all American flights into space to that point.
Sally Ride was the first American to fly into space, but would do so 20 years after the Soviet Union did. She did so aboard STS-7, a shuttle mission with the orbiter Challenger launched on June 18th of 1983. Ride would later fly again on the Challenger, on the STS-41G mission. A third planned mission for Ride was scrapped after the Challenger disaster of 1986.
Aside from Tereshkova and Ride, several dozen other women from a variety of different countries have flown into space.