First woman in space Valentina Tereshkova launches Soviet spacecraft exhibition in London as she poses with her original craft, Vostok-6. Edward Baran reports.
Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman and civilian to travel into space, opened a huge exhibition of Soviet spacecraft in London on Thursday, the centrepiece of which is the actual craft which carried her back from orbit in 1963. The London Science Museum's 'Cosmonauts: Birth of the Space Age' is billed as the greatest exhibition of Soviet spacecraft and artefacts ever to be seen outside Russia. Tereshkova, now 78, became a global celebrity in the 1960s -- and was reunited with her craft the Vostok-6 which comes complete with the scorched remains of its heat shield. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) VALENTINA TERESHKOVA, FIRST WOMAN IN SPACE, SAYING: "I look at it (the Vostok-6 craft) with love because it allowed me to work successfully for over three days in orbit." Among the other key exhibits are the 5-metre tall LK-3 lunar lander from 1969, the most complete lunar lander still in existence. Also on display are engineering models of a dog ejector seat and suit, as used on Soviet suborbital rocket flights. Another exhibit shows the short-lived space shower used on the Mir space station. It was never very popular, according to exhibition organisers. The exhibition opens on September 18 and runs until March 2017.