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Valentina Tereshkova

1937 � Present

The first woman and first civilian in space, Valentina Tereshkova was a textile worker selected by the Soviet space program and inducted into the Soviet Air Force. She had a background in skydiving having made her first jump aged 22. This interest played a key part in her selection from over 400 candidates. Valentina Tereshkova has orbited the earth 48 times and remains to be the only woman ever to have been on a solo space mission.