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World's First Woman in Space, Valentina Tereshkova, Turns 80

A role model for us and a symbol of service to the Fatherland
By The News · 06 of March 2017 12:43:16
Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) congratulates with 80th birthday the first woman in space, cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova in Moscow, Russia, Monday, March 6, 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) congratulates with 80th birthday the first woman in space, cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova in Moscow, Russia, Monday, March 6, 2017. , photo: Sputnik/Alexei Nikolsky, via AP

MOSCOW — Russia is honoring the world’s first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova, on her 80th birthday.

President Vladimir Putin hosted Tereshkova at the Kremlin on Monday, praising her as “a role model for us and a symbol of service to the Fatherland.”

He presented Tereshkova with a painting of seagulls over the Volga River, a reference to her call sign Chaika (Seagull) during her mission in June 1963.

Valentina Tereshkova, just prior to her launch aboard Vostok 6 in 1963. Photo: Science Source/Photo Researchers, Inc

The three-day mission made her an instant global celebrity and a poster figure for Soviet space glory. Tereshkova received a hero’s welcome after the flight and was showered with awards and honorary titles.

She is still a member of the Russian parliament, serving as a deputy chair of committee for municipal issues