Valentina Tereshkova - First Woman in Space / Part II
Following her gloriously successful mission, Valentina studied at Zhukovsky Air Force Academy - graduating with distinction as a Cosmonaut Engineer. Her Female Cosmonaut Group was dissolved the same year, and it would be 19 years - 19/8/1982 - until Svetlana Savitskaya would be the 2nd woman - again, a Soviet Cosmonaut - in space. (Svetlana would go on to become the first woman to walk in space, logging almost 4 hours outside the Salyut 7 Space Station - 17/7/1984)
Valentina attained great political stature, going on to become a Member of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, and the Central Committee of the Communist Party. She furthered the cause of Women's Political Rights - beyond her positions in the Soviet Union - as Soviet representative to The United Nations Conference for the International Women's Year in Mexico City (1975), Vice President of the International Women's Democratic Foundation and President of the Soviet-Algerian Friendship Society.
Her decorations include : The Hero of the Soviet Union Medal (the USSR's highest Award) - / The Order of Lenin - / The Order of the October Revolution - / Numerous other Medals - / Foreign Orders : Including - The Karl Marx Order - / The United Nations Gold Medal of Peace and The SIMBA International Women's Movement Award. Titles include : Hero of Socialist Labour of Czechoslovakia - / Hero of Labour of Vietnam and Hero of Mongolia. She received an Honourary Doctorate from the University of Edinburgh (1990).
Tereshkova Crater - on the far side of the Moon - is named in her honour, as is 1671 CHAIKA Asteroid - after her call name on the Vostok 6 mission.
The collapse of the Soviet Union - and birth of Russia - sees Valentina still revered as a Russian Space Hero. Her Monument - in her image at the time of the Vostok 6 flight - is prominent on Cosmonaut Alley in Moscow. She was also honoured - soon after her mission - on a Soviet stamp.
Valentina, who still appears occasionally at space-related events, told President Putin - when invited to meet with him at his Residence for the celebration of her 70th birthday - that she would like to fly to Mars (even if it meant a one-way trip) and was a Torch-bearer in the 2008 Summer Olympics Relay when the Torch passed through St. Petersburg, Russia.