Germany seeks his first spaceflight Pioneer in space Russian Valentina Tereshkova

The Company “HE Space” published these days an original vacancy notice: “wanted astronaut”. The Headhunter of the European Space Agency will ensure that finally time a German woman launches into space. 60 the date around 500 people in all were female, successful astronauts, cosmonauts or Taikonautinnen, depending on whether they were started in Florida, Kazakhstan or North China. The woman in orbit – it could become the norm.

That was 53 years ago when the Soviet Russian Valentina Tereshkova launched the first cosmonaut, was very different. To date, she enjoys world fame. What is less well known: your three-day trip into orbit went so catastrophically that Sergei Korolyov, secret mastermind behind the Soviet space, said: “. To me, no woman into space” This was long after Korolev’s death in 1966. Only in 1982 launched the next woman from Baikonur into space, a year before the first US astronaut.

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TV, record player, washing machine, vacuum cleaner, refrigerator, “Volga” sedan, fashion items for themselves and the whole relationship – a few days after landing on 19 June 1963, a field in the Kazakh steppe was the 26-year-old Tereshkova showered with gifts ; Products of which their compatriots back then could only dream. Nikita Khrushchev, General Secretary of the Communist Party, had personally ensured.

For him, had “the Seagull” as Tereshkova was named to radio communications between heaven and earth, fulfills all tasks shiny: In the race with the United States to the moon she can send the first woman into space, it was a simple worker of a textile combine and youth functionary of the party, she had landed alive and could therefore be subsequently presented around the world. As a classic new Soviet woman who can do anything.

Those responsible for the Soviet space hand saw in 1963 confirmed in their skepticism, they had one of the more qualified women preferred which were available also. The were able to score more during hard training in the centrifuge, in a short time in the airplane simulated weightlessness and in their physical fitness.

Tereshkova but was in another discipline, the decisive, forward: In the mental aptitude test her competitors had at the question, “What do you expect from life?”, All replied to the questionnaire in about, they would enjoy it like, as far as go. But she herself wrote: “I want to support with all their strength the Komsomol (youth organization) and the party.”

The nomenklatura liked it, but the political attitude helped her when the rocket was launched, very little. What happened in the spaceship, came after the fall of the Soviet Union in the records Korolev, his colleague Vasily Mishin and the Cosmonauts coach Nikolai Kamanin gradually – sometimes in contradictory versions – to light.

As Korolev had swallowed that choosing to Tereshkova had fallen, he modified accordingly the first thing a program point: Unlike planned control should now at no stage more successes from the capsule itself and the ground station from start to re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere Complete Keep control.

Some time after take-off was Tereshkova to feel the space sickness, somewhat comparable to seasickness: nausea, vomiting, disorientation. Of course they had taken precautions, but the cosmonaut could not cope with the bags on board. In connection with the zero gravity this was a particularly predicament circumstance. The floating substances increased their sickness that odor problems they tried by lowering the temperature to soften. This so strong that in the ground station leaping alarms and it was thought there having to take countermeasures.
Food Denied: The Soviet Russian Valentina Tereshkova in a documentary about her flight 1963
Photo: picture alliance / RIA Novosti denied food: The Soviet Russian Valentina Tereshkova in a documentary about her flight 1963

On top of that failed the targeted use of the abortion according to some reports. After another they had calculated in all their period. When she was once no longer accessible due to dizziness, the ground station had to wake her by constantly switching on and off of the board light again.

It was not only about the welfare of the cosmonaut. The scientific review, the protocol got confused. Tereshkova denied that it was the space sickness, but everything would have been on the diet, the black bread was about to dry. Some suggest, however, that they have not eaten in three days as good as nothing, and to disguise this, after landing, inventories have given collective farmers, who had the capsule approached timidly.

Total trust between scientists and the cosmonaut was afterwards corrupted, also because of a serious incident. Long weeks puzzled the experts as a crack may have originated in one of the windows during the flight. From Tereshkova they received no mention. Finally, it was found that they had apparently collided accidentally with her camera violently against the glass.

In Moscow and then in half the world Tereshkova was hailed as a hero of the Soviet Union. In Korolev’s team but one was displeased with them. One of the experts, who remembers that time, said: “with the window was a critical issue for the construction of spaceships, and the cosmonaut had concealed the truth, as much as she wanted to be admired.” Korolev himself reminded the space traveler in her helplessness to “a fish out of water”.