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Science Museum opens exhibition dedicated to first woman in space
Valentina Tereshkova with Tim Peake's Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft in the Science Museum © Jody Kingzett, Science Museum.

LONDON.- Fifty-four years after she made history as the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova opened an exhibition at the Science Museum dedicated to her remarkable life and career.

Tereshkova went from obscurity to worldwide fame on 16 June 1963 when aged 26 she climbed aboard the USSR’s Vostok 6 spacecraft, becoming the first woman to fly in space. She returned after orbiting the Earth 48 times over 3 days, logging more flight time than all American astronauts combined up to that date.

The ‘First Lady of Space’ would never fly again but her mission remains a major milestone in pioneering space exploration. It was another 20 years before the next woman went into space, and Tereshkova remains the only female cosmonaut to have flown a solo mission.

Valentina Tereshkova: First Woman in Space reveals a compelling life story, from her early days as a factory worker with a great love of parachuting and music, to her career as a prominent USSR politician and global representative.

Science Museum Group Director Ian Blatchford said: “It was a true honour to welcome Dr Terehskova back to the Science Museum as we celebrate her 80th birthday. What better time to pay tribute to the achievements of such a heroic and pioneering woman than during Women’s History Month? On her last visit to the Museum in 2015 she declared her wish to join me on a space flight, and I look forward to making plans with her this time around!”

Doug Millard, Deputy Keeper of Technologies and Engineering and Curator of Valentina Tereshkova: First Woman in Space said “Valentina Tereshkova epitomises the can-do spirit that propels humanity to great things. As the first woman in space and still the only one to have flown a solo space mission, her story continues to be an inspirational one for millions.”

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