(born on 6 March 1937)
Valentina Tereshkova was born in | a + Maslennikovo, Tutayevsky District, in Cen Ville Tereshkova’s father was a tractor driver
worked in a textile plant. Tereshkova bepar, school continued her education through distance learning. sn
j F 1945 at the age of eight, but left school in 1953 became interested in parachuting from a young age, ang trained in skydiving at the local Aeroclub, making he,
i ‘ 8 first jump at age 22 on 21 May 1959. At that ume she was employed as a textile worker in a local factory. It was he, expertise in skydiving that led to her selection as , cosmonaut.
After the flight of Yuri Gagarin (the first human being to travel to outer space ir 1961), the Soviet Union decided to send a woman in space. On 16 February 1962 “proletaria” Valentina Tereshkova was selected for this project from among more thar four hundred applicants. Tereshkova had to undergo a series of training that weightless flights, isolation tests, centrifuge tests, rocket theory, spacecraft engineering, 120 parachute jumps and pilot training in MiG-15UTI jet fighters.
Since the successful launch of the spacecraft Vostok-5 on 14 June 1963, Tereshkova began preparing for her own flight. On the morning of 16 June 1963, Tereshkova and her back-ur cosmonaut Solovova were dressed in space-suits and taken to the space shuttle launch pad by a bus. After completing her communication and life support checks, she was sealed inside Vostok 6. Finishing a two-hour countdown, Vostok-6 launched faultlessly.
Although Tereshkova experienced nausea and physical discomfort for much of the flight, she orbited the earth 48 times and spent almost three days in space. With a single flight, she logged more flight time than the combined times of all American astronauts who had
flown before that date. Tereshkova also marntained a fLebt log and tock photographs of the homzon, which were hater used to aerosol layers with:a the etmosphere Vestok-6 was the final Vostck flizhe and was launched two days afer Vosick-5, which carried Valary Bykovsy into a sumer orbit for five days, land.cg three Lours afer Tereshkova. The two vessels approached each other within 5 kilometers at one port and from space Tereshkova communicated with and the Soviet leader Khraskchev by radio.
Much Iater, m 1977 Tereshkkova earned a doctorate ia Engineering from Zhukovsky Air Force Academy. Afterwards she trmmed to politics. During the Soviet resume she became one of the presidium members of the Supreme Soviet. Now this living legend is a member in the lower house of the Russian legislate. On her “0th birthday when she was invited by the Russiaa Pnme Minister Viadimir Putin, she expressed her desire to fly to Mars, even if for a one-way trip.
(17 March 1962 – 1 February 2003)
Chawla was born in Kamal, India. She completed her earlier schooling at Tagore
Baal Niketan Senior Secondary School, #* Kamal. She is the first Indien-bom woman ©
and the second person in space from this sub§ continent. After graduating in Aeronautical ‘3 .. Engineering from Punjab Engineering – }College, India, in 1982, Chawla moved to the india
United States the same year. She obtained her Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas in 1984. Later she did her PhD. in Aerospace Engineering * in 1988 from the University of Colorado.
Determined to become an astronaut even in the face of the Challenger disaster 1986 that broke apart 73 seconds into its flight, to the deaths of its seven crew members, Chawla joined NASA in 1988. She began working as a Vice President where she did Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) research on vertical take-off and landing. In 1991 she got U.S. citizenship and started her career as a NASA astronaut in 1995, She was selected for her first flight in 1996. She spoke the following words while travelling in the weightlessness of space, “You are just your intelligence.” She had travelled 10.67 million miles, as many as 252 times around the Earth.
Her first space mission (Mission STS 87) began on 19 November 1997 with , Ke astronauts on the Space Shuttle Columbia. On her first mission that lasted for 5 16 hours, 34 minutes and 4 seconds, she travelled 6.5 million miles Sh. responsible for deploying the Spartan Satellite which however malfunct , necessitating a spacewalk by Winston Scott and , two of her
astronauts, to retrieve the satellite.
In 2000 she was selected for her second space’ mission STS 107. This mission , repeatedly delayed due to scheduling conflicts and technical problems. On 16 Jan 2003, Kalpana Chawla finally started her new mission with six other space crew the ill-fated space shuttle Columbia. She was one of the mission specialists. Chaw) responsibilities included the micro gravity experiments, for which the crew conducty nearly 80 experiments studying earth and space science, advanced technology
development, and astronaut health and safety.
After a 16 day scientific mission in space, on 1 February 2003, Columbia disintegrated over Texas during its re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere. All the crew in Columb including Chawla died only 16 minutes prior to their scheduled landing. Investigatios shows that this fatal accident happened due to a damage in one of Columbia’s wings caused by a piece of insulating foam from the external fuel tank peeling off during the Jaunch. During the intense heat of re-entry, hot gases penetrated the interior of the wing destroying the support structure and causing the rest of the shuttle to break down.