At the tender age of 26, Tereshkova met the Milky Way in the Vostok 6 on June 16th 1963, making her the second youngest astronaut in history and the first woman to fly in space. During her three-day flight, Tereshkova made 48 orbits around the earth in her spacecraft. As the flight ended and Vostok 6 passed back through the atmosphere, she utilized the skills learned from her younger years and parachuted from the craft as it fell to back into Earth.
Upon touching ground, she was honored with the title Hero of the Soviet Union and received the Order of Lenin for her historic flight and incredible bravery. Tereshkova never flew again but left her mark elsewhere by serving as president of the Soviet Women’s Committee and a member of the Supreme Soviet, the USSR’s national parliament. Through this, she received the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace.
Shortly after returning to Earth, Tereshkova married astronaut Andrian Nikolayev and their daughter Elena was the subject of particular medical interest as the first child born to parents who had both been exposed to space. Having hung up her space boots for good, Tereshkova now lives a quiet life in Moscow.