INTERVIEW: Valentina Tereshkova

Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman going to space and to celebrate the 54th anniversary, I wrote an interview simulation.

16th June 2017

Today we celebrate the 51st anniversary of the first female space mission completed by ex-Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova. For this occasion, we had the opportunity to ask her some questions about her life and about the mission Vostok 6.

  • Good evening Ms. Tereshkova, my name is Celine and today I have the pleasure to ask you some questions.

Good evening and it’s my pleasure miss.

  • So, the first question I have is: how do you feel after 51 years since that memorable day?

You know, every June 16th since that of the 1964, old memories of Vostok 6 come back in my mind. Every year is like replaying those moments.

  • Going back to those moments, do you remember about the selection?

Like yesterday. So, General Kamanin proposed to send a woman into space to set records over the United States to defeat them. This proposal was fully accepted by Khrushchev. I applied twice for entrance to the school of aspirate astronauts: the first time I failed, while I made it the second time. In 1962 I was part of the selection of the first group of female cosmonauts and I’ve passed them with merit with other fourex colleagues: Zanna Erkina, Tat’jana Kuznecova, Valentina Ponomareva and Irina Solev’eva.

  • However, did your ex colleagues ever been in other space missions?

No, they haven’t . Two of them were nominated reserves in case I wasn’t able to succeed.

  • What was your characteristic? What was fundamental for them to have chosen you ?

Skydiving, even though I didn’t have flight experiences.

  • In June the 16th 1963, at 9:29 you left from the cosmodrome of Bajkonur (Kazakistan) and after almost threedays orbiting around the Earth for 49 times, you landed in a countryside not far from Karakanda on 19th of June at 8:20. There was also another mission simultaneously to yours… Am I wrong?

You’re right. There was the Vostok 5 mission commanded by the cosmonaut Bykovsky. But he left two days before, on the 14th and he came back on earth three hours later.

  • While you were orbiting, did you get to see each other or communicate ?

Yes, more than once: our orbits were very similar and we communicate through radio many times.

  • Thanks to Vostok 6, they could study how a female body can react in zero gravity. Did you have problems during the mission?

Yes, I had nausea and tiredness due to the absence of gravity, especially during the first orbits. Then I had difficulties to drive the spacecraft to the re-entry orbit, for these reasons I had to call the base for help many times.

  • After two days, you received an important award…

Award of pilot-cosmonaut of the Soviet Union.

  • Which was the funniest and the most beautiful moment of the mission?

I think that was the moment of the skydiving not just because it was my passion but also because I knew that I would land safe and sound.

  • I heard that while you were training, you didn’t say anything to your family…

I didn’t want to make them worry more since they had problems in family.

  • Which part of the Soviet Union do you come from?

I come from Bol’soe Maslennikovo, near Jaroslavl’ on Volga river.

  • How was your youth?

It wasn’t so easy: my dad died in the Second World War and so I had to work to maintain my family. Meanwhile I was working, I was attending evening courses and in 1960 I graduated as technical expert.

  • How did your passion for skydiving started?

It was born in 1955 after I saw some people doing that. I tried to do a flight out of curiosity and from that moment it all started.

  • What did you do after Vostok 6 mission?

In 1969 I studied at the Cukovski Soviet Military Aeronautical engineering academy. In 1966 my political life started becoming part of the High Soviet Union and in 1968 I was nominated president of the women committee of the Soviet Union. In 1971 I became a member of the Soviet Union communist party central committee. From 1974 I was part of the directive of the Supreme Soviet and from 1976 I became Vice-President of the Soviet Union education, science and culture committee. My last political charge was at the Russian Center for scientific and cultural international collaboration, where I was nominated as director by the government.

  • An intense political life, but did you ever have the desire to go back to space?

Of course, but for some circumstances I couldn’t. Now is the moment to give some space to the youths!

RUSSIA-SPACE

Celine

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