July 25, 2014
Categories: Russia, Spacewalk

Today is the 30th anniversary of the first space walk performed by a woman.

It was Svetlana Yevgenyevna Savitskaya, a former Soviet aviator and cosmonaut who flew aboard Soyuz T-7 in 1982, becoming the second woman in space 19 years after Valentina Tereshkova.

She became the first woman to perform a space walk on July 25, 1984. It was a historic moment for the world cosmonautics. Svetlana conducted an EVA outside the Salyut 7 space station for 3 hours 35 minutes during which she cut and welded metals in space along with her colleague Vladimir Dzhanibekov. Of the Soviet/Russian spacewalkers for the moment, she is the only female.

She started training as a cosmonaut in 1980. Upon returning to Earth, Savitskaya was assigned as the commander of an all-female Soyuz crew to Salyut 7 in commemoration of the International Women’s Day, a mission that was later canceled.

She was twice awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title.

She was also a test and sports pilot – starting from 1974 she set 18 international world records on MiG aircraft and three records in team parachute jumping. She won first place at the 6th FAI World Aerobatic Championship in 1970.

Savitskaya retired in 1993 from the Russian Air Force with the rank of Major.

 

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