Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova (Russian: Валенти́на Влади́мировна Терешко́ва; IPA: [vɐlʲɪnʲˈtʲinə vlɐˈdʲimʲɪrəvnə tʲɪrʲɪʂˈkovə]; born 6 March 1937) is a Russian former cosmonaut. She was the first woman to have flown in space, having been selected from more than four hundred applicants and five finalists to pilot Vostok 6 on 16 June 1963. In order to join the Cosmonaut Corps, Tereshkova was honorarily inducted into the Soviet Air Force and thus she also became the first civilian to fly in space.
Before her recruitment as a cosmonaut, Tereshkova was a textile-factory assembly worker and an amateur skydiver. After the dissolution of the first group of female cosmonauts in 1969, she became a prominent member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, holding various political offices. She remained politically active following the collapse of the Soviet Union and is still regarded as a hero in post-Soviet Russia.
In 2013 she offered to go on a one-way trip to Mars if the opportunity arose. At the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics, she was a carrier of the Olympic flag.
And by a prudent flight and cunning save A life which valour could not, from the grave. A better buckler I can soon regain, But who can get another life again? Archilochus