Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first woman in space.
Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became a national icon at the age of 26 when she was chosen out of hundreds of applicants to leave the earth’s atmosphere.
During her space flight, Tereshkova orbited the earth for 3 days, returning home to a hero’s welcome.
She had been working in a textile factory, and kept the entire selection process a secret from friends and family.
Tereshkova went on to become a member of Russian parliament. It would be 20 years before American, Sally Ride, would become the next woman in space.