In December 1961, the selection of female cosmonaut trainees was authorized by the Soviet government, with the specific intention of ensuring the first woman in space was a Soviet citizen. In February 1962, Yorkina was selected as a member of a group of five female cosmonauts to be trained for a solo spaceflight in a Vostok spacecraft. Like several others in the group, she was an amateur parachutist. In 1963, she married Valeri N. Sergeychik, which whom she had two children, Valeri V. and Svetlana V, in violation of Korolyov's rule that female cosmonauts must put off having children and dedicate themselves to the space program.[unreliable source?]
The honor of being the first woman in space was eventually given to Valentina Tereshkova, who was launched into Earth orbit in June 1963 aboard Vostok 6. Tereshkova's backup was Irina Solovyova, with Valentina Ponomaryova in a supporting 'second backup' role. Yorkina had been taken out of the running for the mission as she had performed poorly in the simulator.
Yorkina was considered one of the least capable of the five female cosmonauts, and Kamanin specifically complained that she was "too fond of chocolate and cakes". She was included in plans for Voskhod 5, an all-female duration and EVA mission, but only as the secondary member of the backup crew.
Following cancellation of the Voskhod Program, Yorkina worked at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, and was one of the cosmonauts involved in development of the Spiral spaceplane. She retired from the space program on 1 October 1969, and from active military duty in 1989.
- "Журнал Новости Космонавтики - Умерла Жанна Ёркина".
- Marlow, Michael. "Spaceflight #1, 2006". Retrieved 8 June 2009.
- Amaral, Pedro (2005). "Pedro Amaral Homepage". Retrieved 8 June 2009.
- "Cancelled Spaceflight Mission: Voskhod 5". Spacefacts. 22 April 2008. Retrieved 8 June 2009.
- "The roots of Buran". Energiya—Buran. Springer Praxis Books. 2007. p. 1. doi:10.1007/978-0-387-73984-7_1. ISBN 978-0-387-69848-9.
- Жанна Дмитриевна Ёркина (Сегрейчик). CV in Russian