Vostok 6

Vostok 6 was a manned space flight within the Wostokprogramms. With the cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova flew for the first time a woman into space.


  • Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova ( first flight )

Backup crew

  • Irina Bajanowna Solovyova

Support team

  • Valentina Ponomareva Leonidovna


The idea to build female cosmonaut, was born in 1961, shortly after the historic flight of Yuri Gagarin. The project was very controversial within the Soviet space agencies and the military. Since there were few female pilots in the Soviet Union, the search was extended to parachute jumpers. From 58 candidates, five Russians were selected on 16 February 1962 which formed the second group cosmonaut of the USSR:

  • Sanna Dmitrijevna Jerkina
  • Tatyana Kuznetsova Dmitrjewna
  • Valentina Ponomareva Leonidovna
  • Irina Bajanovna Solovyova
  • Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova

After the double flight of Vostok 3 and Vostok 4 in August 1962 was not clear how many more Wostokflüge would still take place, and how many of them would be manned by female cosmonauts. In the spring of 1963, then emerged that no new Vostok spacecraft were manufactured. The two remaining single-seat space ships would be used for a dual flight with a man and a woman.

After Tatyana Kuznetsova had not passed the theory test for a cosmonaut in November 1962 resigned in May 1963 Sanna Jerkina for health reasons also made.

On June 4, 1963 Valentina Tereshkova was confirmed as crew for Vostok 6. Valentina Ponomareva and Irina Solovyova were reserve.

History of the flight

Vostok 6 launched on June 16, 1963 at 12:29 Moscow time clock from the rocket launch site Baikonur and reached after a few minutes the orbit with 165 km perigee and 166 km apogee at an inclination of 65 degrees.

During the first mission in orbit to Vostok Vostok 5 and 6 as planned approached to about 5 kilometers. Vostok 5 with Valery Bykowski on board was launched two days earlier.

During the first day Tereshkova was able to maintain direct radio contact with Bykowski, but the two spaceships are increasingly remote, and from the second day was the connection only via relay stations on Earth possible. The Vostok spacecraft had only position control options and could not even affect their orbit. The rendezvous of the two ships was therefore not due to active control, but due to more precise calculations before starting.

Tereshkova made ​​photo and film footage of the earth. A biological experiment remained unfinished because she could not reach the equipment.

The firing of the braking rocket was planned, as well as the dropping of the equipment section. The flight line has received this information, however only via telemetry because Tereshkova not announced over the radio.

The landing took place after nearly three days of space flight on 19 June 1963 at 08:20 GMT clock about 620 km north-east of Karaganda in Kazakhstan today. As usual with the Wostokflügen to Tereshkova catapulted with an ejector seat from the landing capsule and landed by parachute.

In the aftermath Tereshkova became very often in public. She went for press conferences and lectures on several trips abroad.


After the first launch of a satellite ( Sputnik 1, 1957), the first manned space flight ( Vostok 1, 1961) and the first double flight ( Vostok 3/Wostok 4, 1962), the Soviet Union had once again provided a Erstleistung. The first flight of a female space traveler was a worldwide prestige for the USSR. Not until 1982 that a woman would go to space again with Svetlana Sawizkaja.

Despite problems with the landing Vostok 5 and Vostok 6 formed a successful completion of the Vostok program. It was already decided that the next manned flights with a further development, the more seat Voskhod space ships, would be carried out. The Soyuz spacecraft, which has been completely redesigned, would be available only after several years.

The return capsule is now on display at the RKK Energiya museum in Kaluga.