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Apr 12, 2019

The First Group of Female Cosmonauts Were Trained to Conquer the Final Frontier

Posted by in categories: military, space

In early 1962, members of the male space squad gathered at a dining room in Star City and were joined by Yuri Gagarin. “Congratulations! Get ready to welcome the girls in a few days,” announced Gagarin.

“We, a tiny group of military test pilots selected for the space program, had been living together as one big family in Star City for two years. We shared struggles and knew everything about each other, and now we had to accept new members to our family,” recalled cosmonaut Georgi Shonin.

“When we started training together, it was very unusual to hear soft and feminine call signs Chaika (seagull) or Bereza (birch) instead of solid and firm Sokol (falcon) or Rubin (ruby),” Shonin continues. “Their intonations alone were telling. If a voice was sonorous, everything went as planned. But sometimes their voices sounded pitiful. That meant the instructor was practicing certain failures of the system with them, and Bereza or Chaika was trying to fix the problem.”

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