Valentina Tereshkova (1937 -)
Russian Cosmonaut, Tereshkova, became the first woman in space on June 16, 1963, when she was launched into orbit in a one person capsule called Vostok VI. She spent three days in the capsule, traveling 1.2 million miles and orbiting the Earth forty-eight times. After spending more hours in space than all of the Mercury astronauts combined, Tereshkova ejected herself out of her capsule and parachuted home to Kazakhstan. She now lectures on her historic journey and is a crusader for women’s rights.