Valentina Tereshkova Wins The Space Race

February 16, 1962 The Soviet Space Commission selected Valentina Tereshkova and four other women to join their cosmonaut corps. Before becoming a cosmonaut Tereshkova had worked on a factory assembly line. In 1963 she became the first woman in space. Still a hero in Russia today, Tereshkova was a torch bearer for the 2008 Moscow Olympics.