First Woman Astronaut Turning 70
DEBBIE ELLIOTT, host:
This week marks the 70th birthday of the first woman in space. In 1963, Valentina Tereshkova climbed aboard a Soviet spaceship, scoring Cold War publicity points for the USSR. Tereshkova was a 26-year-old engineering student and a proletarian, the daughter of a peasant. That and her experience as an amateur parachutist made her an excellent candidate to be a pawn in the international propaganda war.
After the flight, Tereshkova became an icon and role model for young Soviet women. She was chosen for important political positions. She even got a crater named after her on the dark side of the moon.
But this Tuesday, at a birthday party thrown by President Vladimir Putin, Tereshkova said there's one more thing she dreams of doing. I would enjoy flying to Mars, she told a reporter. I'm ready to fly, without coming back.