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  • 8/4/2004

Svetlana Y. Savitskaya

(August 8, 1948- )

First woman to walk in space

Svetlana Savitskaya was born in Moscow on August 8, 1948. She began to take part in aviation sports when at school and worked as a flight instructor upon finishing at the Central Flying and Technical College and the Moscow Institute of Aviation Technology. Since 1976 Svetlana Savitskaya, after graduating from a test pilots' training school, has been involved in testing aircraft, She has successfully tested more than 20 types of aircraft, has 1,500 flight hours to her credit and is a qualified "Test Pilot, Second Class". She has undergone a complete course of training for flight missions aboard the Salyut station and Soyuz-T spacecraft as a cosmonaut-researcher. Svetlana Savitskaya is a Merited Master of Sports of the USSR She has established 18 world records in aviation and was absolute world champion in aerobatics in 1970. Svetlana Savitskaya joined the CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union) in 1975.

Svetlana Savitskaya was chosen to be part of the cosmonaut 1980 Female Group 2 on July 30 of that year. She became the 53rd cosmonaut, affiliated with Energiya NPO.

Savitskaya continued putting her name in the record books, becoming the second woman in space on August 19, 1982. Savitskaya and fellow crew members Leonid Popov and Alexander Serebrov flew Soyuz T-7 to dock with the Salyut 7 space station. They conducted experiments and returned the Soyuz T-5 crew to Earth.

However, it was her second flight aboard Soyuz T-12 for which she is best known. On July 25, 1984, Savitskaya and cosmonaut Vladimir Dzhanibekov performed an EVA to conduct welding experiments with the Salyut 7 space station. The space walk lasted 3.58 hours. It was the first time a woman walked in space.

The Soyuz T-12 mission was her last trip to space. She was appointed Commander of an all-female crew to Salyut 7 for International Women's Day, but the mission was canceled because of problems with the space station and the limited availability of Soyuz T spacecraft.

Savitskaya became the Deputy to the Chief Designer at Energiya in 1987, and a member of Parliament in 1989.

OnOctober 27, 1993, Savitskaya left her work as a cosmonaut. She spent a total of 19.71 days in space throughout her career.

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