Pioneering Russian woman's spaceflight marked

Russia marks 50th anniversary of Valentina Tereshkova becoming first woman in space

Associated Press

MOSCOW (AP) -- On the 50th anniversary of becoming the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova has received a prestigious award from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Tereshkova's three-day spaceflight in 1963 was another in a series of firsts that the Soviet Union racked up in the 1960s space race with the United States.

On Friday, the 76-year-old Tereshkova placed flowers at the monument in Moscow to Yuri Gagarin, the first man to orbit the Earth.

Tereshkova was then driven in a Soviet-era Chaika limousine to Putin's residence in suburban Moscow. The Russian leader awarded her the Order of Alexander Nevsky, recognizing outstanding public service.

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