Tereshkova was indeed the first woman in space, and that’s one hell of an achievement for anyone, but particularly for the daughter of a tractor driver who left school at 16. After several months of extensive training, she was launched into space aboard Vostok 6 on 16th June 1963. Despite suffering nausea from poor quality food and significant discomfort, she stayed in orbit for 70.8 hours, making 48 orbits of Earth. In that one single flight, she spent more time in space than all the American astronauts combined at that point.
When Tereshkova left school to start work at the age of 16, she continued her education via correspondence courses. She graduated with distinction from Zhukovskiy Military Air Academy in 1969, and earned a doctorate in engineering in 1977. During her 70th birthday celebrations, she said that she’d like to fly to Mars, even if it was a one-way trip.