From the speech of the Hero of the Soviet Union, pilot-cosmonaut of the USSR V.V. Tereshkova at a press conference for participants of the International Congress of Women. Moscow, July 1, 1963

Of course, I was flustered before the flight. They put on me a spacesuit. And when I was standing close to my spacecraft, I felt a strong desire to bow to this wondrous vehicle built by the genius of the Soviet people, Soviet engineers, designers, workers and technicians. Before I entered the spacecraft, I heard some touching parting words.

The elevator lifted me towards my spacecraft. After boarding the spacecraft I checked all the equipment and established radio communications with the ground. And when they announced that it was one minute to lift-off, I didn't feel any fear, it was just the excitement of an athlete before a sports event. It was a natural human reaction.

The vehicle lifted off very smoothly. At first I didn't feel any g-loads, and then I got a feeling that it starts to press on me a little. Here I could already feel that the speed is picking up, to reach a certain specified speed, and g-loads are getting higher.

Training sessions that I had had on the ground helped me to easily withstand g-loads during ascent and descent. Having achieved orbit, I felt a transition from Earth gravity to zero gravity, a very smooth transition: hands float up, you feel lightness. You don't have any unpleasant feelings during this.

Broad vistas of our Earth open up from the spacecraft. During the active phase of the flight you never cease to be delighted... In those places on Earth where there was no cloud cover, you could very clearly see regular squares, rivers, dark-green forest areas.

Unforgettable sight, even now I can see it in my mind's eye: at first there was a very smooth transition - a sort of light-blue band, then the horizon is bright orange, a band of bright orange against a dark background, then a light yellow band, then a greenish one with a bit of yellow, then a pale blue band of the horizon and black sky. It was very beautiful.

I was looking at our beautiful Earth and I was thinking: we must not allow this blue and shining globe to be buried under black atomic ashes. I was flying and thinking: how nice it would be if my Vostok-6, my, so to speak, "woman's" spacecraft, could build an invisible but strong bridge from my heart to hearts of all the women of Earth.

Pages of space launches. An album of photographs.
Moscow, Planeta Publishers, 1987


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