||This article contains orbital elements but does not include an epoch, or date when those elements, which typically vary over time, were correct.|
Model of the Vostok capsule with its upper stage
|Operator||Soviet space program|
|Mission duration||2 days, 22 hours, 50 minutes|
|Manufacturer||Experimental Design Bureau OKB-1|
|Launch mass||4,713 kilograms (10,390 lb)|
|Callsign||Чайка (Chayka - "Seagull")|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||16 June 1963, 09:29:52UTC|
|Launch site||Baikonur 1/5|
|End of mission|
|Landing date||19 June 1963, 08:20UTC|
|Perigee||180 kilometres (110 mi)|
|Apogee||231 kilometres (144 mi)|
The spacecraft was launched on June 16, 1963. While Vostok 5 had been delayed by technical problems, Vostok 6's launch proceeded perfectly with no difficulties at all. Data was collected on the female body's reaction to spaceflight. Like other cosmonauts on Vostok missions, she maintained a flight log, took photographs, and manually oriented the spacecraft. Her photographs of the horizon from space were later used to identify aerosol layers within the atmosphere. The mission, a joint flight with Vostok 5, was originally conceived as being a joint mission with two Vostoks each carrying a female cosmonaut, but this changed as the Vostok program experienced cutbacks as a precursor to the retooling of the program into the Voskhod program. Vostok 6 was the last flight of a Vostok 3KA spacecraft.
TV cameras inside the spacecraft broadcast live footage on the Soviet state television network of Tereshkova inside the capsule and she conversed with Premier Nikita Khrushchev over the radio. Communications with ground controllers about her overall health were described in postflight reports as "evasive" and later official accounts of the mission had somewhat condescending remarks about Tereshkova's overall in-flight performance.
In Tereshkova's account of the mission in her postflight debriefing, she mentioned having assorted body pains and difficulty with her helmet headset (also reported by Bykovsky on Vostok 5). She vomited while attempting to eat, although she attributed this to the taste of the food rather than her physical condition.
An official history of the Soviet manned space program published in 1973 described Tereshkova's physical condition and in-flight performance as "udovletvoritelnoe" (adequate) rather than "otlichno" (good or outstanding).
It was revealed in 2004 that an error in the control program made the spaceship ascend from orbit instead of descending. Tereshkova noticed the fault on the first day of the flight and reported it to spaceship designer Sergey Korolev. The team on Earth provided Tereshkova with new data to enter into the descent program which corrected the problem. By request of Korolev, Tereshkova kept the problem secret for dozens of years. “I kept silent, but Evgeny Vasilievich decided to make it public. So, I can easily talk about it now.”
The Vostok 6 landing site coordinates are Barnaul, Region of Altai in the Russian Federation and 7 km south of Baevo, and 650 km North East of Karagandy, Kazakhstan. At the site, in a small park at the roadside, is a gleaming silver statue of Tereshkova soaring upward, with arms outstretched, at the top of a curved column. The statue is wearing a spacesuit without a helmet., which is 200 km West of
The capsule is now on display at the RKK Energia Museum in Korolyov (near Moscow). From September 2015 it forms part of the content of the 'Cosmonauts' exhibition at the Science Museum, London. The Exhibition features many iconic objects from the Soviet space program.
This was the final Vostok flight.
- Mass: 4,713 kg (10,390 lb)
- Apogee: 231 km (144 mi)
- Perigee: 180 km (110 mi)
- Inclination: 64.9°
- Period: 87.8 minutes
Women in space
On 18 June 1983, during the 20th anniversary of Vostok 6's orbits, Sally Ride aboard OV-099 Space Shuttle Challenger for mission STS-7, became the third woman in space, and first non-Soviet woman, and first American woman, on a 5-man mission.
On 16 June 2013, the 50th anniversary of the launch of Vostok 6, two women were in space, Wang Yaping, aboard Tiangong-1 on the 3-man Shenzhou 10 mission, and Karen Nyberg on the 6-man Expedition 36 aboard the International Space Station.
- "Baikonur LC1". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Retrieved 2009-03-30.
- "Google Maps - Vostok 6 Landing Site - Monument Location". Retrieved 2010-12-25.
- "1963: Soviets launch first woman into space". BBC. 1963-06-16. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
- "Vostok 6". www.astronautix.com. Retrieved 2015-11-28.
- "World First Woman Cosmonaut Speaks About Error of Vostok Designers". Kommersant. 2 March 2007. Archived from the original on 4 March 2007. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
- "Google Maps - Vostok 6 Landing Site - Monument Photo closeup". Retrieved 2010-12-26.
- Clara Moskowit (15 June 2012). "China Unveils Astronaut Crew, 1st Female Spaceflyer, for Saturday Launch". Space.com. Retrieved 16 June 2012.
- Ken Kremer (16 June 2013). "Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova; 1st Woman in Space 50 Years Ago! Ready for Mars". Universe Today.