Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 10

Vostok 6

Chayka

USSR

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Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  16.06.1963
Launch time:  09:29 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  1
Altitude:  180.9 - 231.1 km
Inclination:  65.09°
Landing date:  19.06.1963
Landing time:  08:20 UTC
Landing site:  53.209375°N 80.80395°E

walkout photo

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Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Tereshkova  Valentina Vladimirovna  Pilot Cosmonaut 1 2d 22h 50m  48 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Tereshkova

1st Double Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Soloviyova  Irina Bayanovna  Pilot Cosmonaut

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2nd Double Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Ponomaryova  Valentina Leonidovna  Pilot Cosmonaut

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Flight

Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; landing 620 km northeast of Karaganda or 200 km west of Barnaul The spacecraft carried the first female cosmonaut.

The flight objectives included: Comparative analysis of the effect of various spaceflight factors on the male and female organisms; medico biological research; further elaboration and improvement of spaceship systems under conditions of joint flight.

This mission was a rendezvous flight with Vostok 5 (4.5 km distance) at time. There were directly communication between both capsules during the closest approach.

During the mission Valentina Tereshkova suffered from space sickness and did not reply during several communications sessions. It is unknown until today, if this was due to an equipment failure or, that she had been paralysed with fear. It was also planned, that she took manual control of the spacecraft, but that was cancelled. Valentina Tereshkova hat also problems (pain) with her right shin. She did not eat enough during their flight, because the bread was too dry.

On the other side, she filmed cities, forrests, and rivers, but didn't complete the biological experiment - she couldn't reach the equipment. Star observations were also performed and she took two photometric measurements, even writing was no problem.

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.

Many errors occurred in the entire landing sequences, including actions of the VVS recovery forces. Both spacecraft landed two degrees of latitude north of the aim point. It was calculated that this could have occurred by duplicate landing commands having been sent, but such a failure could not be duplicated in post flight tests of ground equipment.

It was revealed in 2004 that an error in the control program made the spaceship ascend from orbit instead of descending. Valentina Tereshkova noticed the fault on the first day of the flight and reported it to Sergei Korolev. The mistake was promptly repaired. Valentina Tereshkova entered the data that she got from the Earth into the descent program and landed safely.

Photos / Drawings

Vostok
Vostok 6 recovery

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Last update on November 23, 2014.