Happy birthday, Valentina Tereshkova! The Russian cosmonaut became the first woman in space when she flew beyond the Earth's atmosphere aboard Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963. To honor the precedent Valentina set for the incredible female astronauts thereafter, we'd like to share some amazing paintings by Ciaran Duffy , an artist who worked on this series featuring only spacefarers. Scroll down for a closer look at Ciaran's work!
Valentina Tereshkova — June 16, 1963
Valentina was the first woman in space!
Peggy Whitson — Oct. 12, 2007
The first female commander of the International Space Station spent more time in space than any other woman at 376 days total.
Sally Ride — June 18, 1983
Ride, Sally Ride! She was the first American woman in space.
Eileen Collins — July 26, 2005
Eileen was the first female commander of the NASA shuttle Discovery.
Susan Helms — March 10, 2001
Susan was the first female resident of the International Space Station.
Mae Jemison — Sept. 12, 1992
Mae was the first black woman in space.
Svetlana Savitskaya — July 25, 1984
Svetlana was the first woman to perform a spacewalk.
Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson, Tracy Caldwell Dyson, and Naoko Yamazaki
On April 14, 2010, the highest number of women in space simultaneously — four — served together on the International Space Station.