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Yesterday’s Papers

On 17 June 1963, the voyage of the first woman in space made headlines

The Soviet Union took a comfortable early lead in the Space Race – they sent up the first satellite (Sputnik), animal (Laika the dog) and man (Yuri Gagarin). Ten, in mid-1963, the Russians were first to put a woman into orbit.

Valentina Tereshkova had volunteered for cosmonaut training in the wake of Gagarin’s historic flight in 1961. She wrote a letter begging to go to space, citing amateur parachuting as her experience, and was selected as her poor textile worker image fit the Soviet ideal of a proletarian hero.

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About BBC History Revealed Magazine

The June 2016 issue of History Revealed