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Rockets of Human space flight

The first human spaceflight took place on April 12, 1961, when cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made one orbit around the Earth aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft, launched by the Soviet space program. Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space aboard Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963. Both spacecraft were launched by Vostok 3KA launch vehicles. Alexei Leonov made the first spacewalk when he leftVoskhod 2 on March 8, 1965. Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to do so on July 25, 1984.


The United States became the second nation to achieve manned spaceflight with the suborbital flight of astronaut Alan Shepard aboardFreedom 7 as part of Project Mercury. The spacecraft was launched on May 5, 1961 on a Redstone rocket. The first U.S. orbital flight was that of John Glenn aboard Friendship 7, launched February 20, 1962 on an Atlas rocket. From 1981 to 2011, the U.S. conducted all its human spaceflight missions with reusable space shuttles. Sally Ride became the first American woman in space in 1983. Eileen Collins was the first female shuttle pilot, and with shuttle mission STS-93 in 1999 she became the first woman to command a U.S. spacecraft.

China became the third nation to achieve human spaceflight when Yang Liwei launched into space on a Chinese-made vehicle, the Shenzhou 5, on October 15, 2003. The flight also made China the third nation to have launched its own manned spacecraft using its own launcher. The first Chinese woman, Liu Yang, was launched in June 2012 aboard Shenzhou 9. Previous European (Hermes) and Japanese (HOPE-X) domestic manned programs were abandoned after years of development, as was the first Chinese attempt, the Shuguang spacecraft. [source]