Junior Lieutenant Valentina Tereshkova
(1937 - )
Ms. Tereshkova was the first woman in space!
"Valya" was born in Russia and was raised by her mother along with her sister and brother after her father died when she was 2. Due to helping her mother, she didn't start school until she was 10.
In 1959, she joined the Yaroslavl Air Sports Club and was a skilled amateur parachutist. She volunteered for the Soviet Space Program where her 126 parachute jumps earned her the rank of Cosmonaut.
After much rigorous training and the usual political BS, on June 16, 1963, Valya was launched into space. Using callign "Chaika" she reported "I see the horizon. A light blue, a beautiful band. This is the Earth. How beautiful it is! All goes well." She orbited Earth 48 times over almost 3 days.