Human space flight cannot develop without women’s participation: Tereshkova

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Yuri Gagarin and Valentina Tereshkova, the first man and the first woman to conquer outer space, were guests of Secretary-General U Thant (UN Photo/YN 16/10/1963)

The first woman to go into space is encouraging more women to participate in space programmes.

Valentina Tereshkova from the Russia Federation was launched aboard a space craft Vostok 6, orbiting the earth 48 times on 16 June 1963 at age 26.

The 76-year old astronaut participated in an event organized by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) in Vienna, Austria on Wednesday to celebrate 50 years of Women in Space.

She said that after Yuri Gagarin's flight in 1961, many young men and women in the then Soviet Union got interested in participating in space flights.

"I am convinced that women will take active participation in  future human space flights. As it is impossible for a bird to fly with only one wing, so  human space flights cannot progress without women's active involvement. We are facing a return to the Moon, exploration of the asteroids, we are facing Mars. And I believe Mars will not forgive men if they don't include women in the expedition."

The event, organized by the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs in Vienna, included women space pioneers from Argentina, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, Nigeria, Russia, the United States and the European Space Agency.

Donn Bobb, United Nations

Duration: 1'22"



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