Thursday, May 6, 2010

The only Russian (Soviet) woman general

Valentina Tereshkova (born on 6 March in 1937) is not only the first (and only) Russian woman general. First and foremost she is the first ever woman in space. Valentina Tereshkova flew into space on 16 June, 1963, piloting the Vostok-6 space ship. She used "Chaika" (Чайка - Seagull) as her call sign in radio communications with the Earth. Interestingly, right after her flight a new brand of fine women wrist watches under the name "Chaika" was introduced in the USSR in honor of Tereshkova's amazing achievement.

Shortly before her retirement in 1997 Valentina Tereshkova was promoted to the rank of General-Major of Air Force, which made her the first ever Russian woman general.

Recall that in 1983, Dr. Sally Ride became the first American woman in space on the shuttle Challenger (STS-7). Her next flight was an eight-day mission in 1984, again on Challenger (STS 41-G). Her cumulative hours of space flight are more than 343. The first American woman had flown into space 20 years after the maiden space flight of Valentina Tereshkova, who later also became the first ever Russian woman general.

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