The Soviets claim the distinction of putting the first woman into space: On June 16, 1963, cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova-Nikolaeva (1937-) was launched into space aboard the Vostok 6. She spent three days circling Earth. It was 20 years before the United States would match the accomplishment: On June 18, 1983, Sally K. Ride (1951–) and four other crew members were launched into space aboard the space shuttle Challenger. Ride remained with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for four years after completing the mission. She served on the presidential commission that investigated the 1986 Challenger disaster.
Astronaut “Buzz” Aldrin walks on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission, July 20,1969.