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Celebrating More than 50 Years of Women in Space

Tuesday marks an important day for women's strides in space.

On June 16, 1963, Valentina Tereshkova of Russia became the first woman to go to space when she flew Vostok 6.

In her three-day spacefight, she orbited Earth 48 times. Inspired by Yuri Gagarin, the first man to go to space in 1961, she set out to break new ground for women in the field. After Tereshkova's first and final flight, she would continue to tour the world, promoting Soviet science.

Tereshkova isn't the only woman to break ground in space. Watch MAKER Mae Jemison's story above about becoming an astronaut and the first African-American woman in space.

NEXT: Learn More About Mae Jemison »

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