On June 16th, 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space, aboard the Soviet spacecraft Vostok 6. Tereshkova, a factory worker and amateur parachutist, was selected from hundreds of applications and became a role model for Soviet women. Her father was a war hero and that, combined with her expertise in parachuting, led to her selection.
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In English media, Tereshkova was called a cosmonaut—the term used for a Soviet astronaut—to distinguish her from those astronauts who fly on U.S. missions. There are other, less well-known terms for astronauts from non-English countries. Taikonaut is the word used in English media for space travelers from China. “Taiko” comes from taikong, the Chinese word for space—though China uses the word astronaut in their own official English press releases. Spationaut (from the French spationaute) has been used for French space travellers participating in joint missions.
(Image of the postage stamp honouring Tereshkova from Wikipedia.)