On April 12, 1961, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin successfully became the first man to enter space, completing one full orbit of our planet aboard the Vostok 1 capsule before returning back to Earth.
Thus began the ‘space race’ between the US and the Soviet Union, with the latter taking an early lead. But just a month later, the Americans levelled the score when they sent astronaut Alan Shepard up into the skies on their first space mission.
The Russians, wanting to put the debate over who the true masters of space to bed early on in the race, then sent up Gherman Titov on August 6, 1961 on the Vostok 2 mission to complete 17 orbits around our planet, which was again completed successfully.
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But between the two Russian launches, there was allegedly another Russian launch that involved sending the first woman into space. As far as we know, Russian cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova was the first woman to visit space as part of the Vostok 6 mission on June 16, 1963, but some believe the Soviets had actually sent another woman to space before her.
However, due to the mission being a failure, the Soviet Union are said to have denied the mission ever happened in the first place.
In May 1961, the Soviets are said to have sent the unnamed woman into space. She was due to return to Earth on May 23, but her attempt to re-enter Earth’s atmosphere didn’t go well. An audio recording from an unverified source that has been circulating the internet supposedly shares the cosmonaut’s last words as she attempts to re-enter.
In theaudio the cosmonaut is heard saying: “Listen… listen! Come in! Come in. Come in. Talk to me! talk to me! I am hot. I am hot! What? Forty-five. What? Forty-five, Fifty. Yes. Yes. Breathing. Breathing. Oxygen. Oxygen. I am hot, isn’t this dangerous?”
The haunting audio continues: “It’s all… yes… how is this? What? Talk to me! How should I transmit? Yes. What? Our transmission begins now. Forty-one. This way. Yes. I feel hot. I feel hot. It’s all… it’s hot. I feel hot.”
Towards the end of the audio, the woman becomes increasingly emotional as she says: “I can see a flame. I can see a flame! I feel hot. I feel hot. Thirty-two. Thirty-two. Forty-one. Am I going to crash? Yes. Yes. I feel hot. I feel hot! I will re-enter.”
It’s at that point that the transmission was cut and nothing was heard from the cosmonaut again. Conspiracy has it that her badly damaged ship was discovered on Earth three days later, but the cosmonaut was nowhere to be found.
The audio is believed to have been recorded by two amateur radio engineers from Italy, Achille and Giovanni Battista, known as the Judica-Cordiglia brothers, and is said to have been released in November 1963.
The brothers had also claimed that several other Russian cosmonauts had been lost in space, with the two releasing a number of similar recordings, although question marks remain regarding their authenticity.
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