former textile worker from the Soviet Union has become the first woman in space. Lieutenant Valentina Tereshkova, 26, was the fifth Russian cosmonaut to go into the Earth’s orbit when her spaceship Vostok VI was launched at 1230 Moscow time. Moscow Television broadcast the first pictures of the elated blonde – code-named Seagull – ninety minutes later.


ne of the main purposes of her mission is to attempt the first docking manoeuvre with another spaceship. Colonel Valery Bykovsky was completing his 32nd orbit in the Vostok V – launched two days ago – when Lt Tereshkova hurtled into space from the secret Russian launch pad in Baikonur, central Asia.

t one time the two spacecrafts – which were in radio contact with each other as well as the ground – were only three miles apart, but they are reported to be drifting further apart.

ussian Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev

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