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Around the World In 88 Minutes

Updated on May 17, 2020
jimagain profile image

Buried between the pages of an old encyclopedia, there is no telling what you may find. Think you've heard it all? Think again!

What does a French science-fiction writer have in common with a Russian girl and a cosmonaut? What event could reach across the span of nearly a century to give their lives continuity?

Science ...or fiction?

Let’s start with the writer. His name is as recognized today as the titles of his many books. He wrote several science fiction stories that seemed outlandish, even preposterous, in his day. When we consider the time in which he lived, and wrote, his work was remarkable. If for no other reason that they were presentient of things to come, almost prophetic. His fiction became our science. For instance, he wrote about submarines traveling under the water and about an expedition to the moon long before it was feasible. In addition, he wrote about traveling around the world in a balloon at a rate unheard of in his time; this particular fictitious journey took place in only eighty days. If you haven’t already guessed, the writer was none other than Jules Verne.

Pioneer in spce

But what about the others, I alluded to earlier, the cosmonaut and the Russian girl? How do they fit into all this? I mentioned three people at the beginning, we disclosed the first. What of the other two?

Pause here momentarily while we go to another period in time. It is June the 19th, the year is 1963. The cosmonaut, let’s abbreviate the middle name of this intrepid pioneer in space to “Vlad”. Vlad has been inside the cockpit of the Vostok VI for nearly three days orbiting the earth up to one hundred and thirty miles above the surface of the planet. Before the mission is completed, Vlad will have orbited the earth for seventy hours and fifty minutes, a total of forty-eight times around the world. The cosmonaut, and the Russian girl, are the same. They are, or should I say, she is “Vlad’, her full name is Valentina Vladimirova Tereshkova.

What did Jules Verne have in common with this Russian girl born in 1937?

Almost a century prior, in 1865, he wrote of trip to the moon, titled, "From The Earth To The Moon", as well as of a fictitious “Phineas Fogg”, in 1872 circumnavigating the globe in a hot-air balloon, the book was titled, “Around The World In Eighty Days.” Ninety-one years later, this 26 year-old Russian girl had obliterated his then incredible time of eighty days. What he wrote of, she surpassed literally going around the world at the rate of once every eighty-eight minutes. Valentina Vladimirova Tereshkova lived the sequel to the Jules Verne classic. Perhaps we could title her contribution to the race for space as, “Around The World In Eighty-eight Minutes.”

Source

Fiction ...or not!

 Another example of Science-fiction turned science! so does that mean the only difference between science and science-fiction ...is just a matter of time? What do you think?

Women Explorers

 She became the Amelia Earhart of Outer Space! The intrepid Female Cosmonaut to orbit the earth.

Would You do It?

If you were sent into Outer Space, what movie or TV series would describe your adventure?

See results

© 2010 Jim Henderson

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    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      14 months ago

      Yes, definitely.

    • jimagain profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim Henderson 

      14 months ago from Hattiesburg, Mississippi

      Ah. I shouldn't be surprised at the political aspect of this decision, for a communist country in that era. Nonetheless, she played an integral role in their space program and I believe it safe to say, she left her imprint behind.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      14 months ago

      Keep in mind the Soviets were specifically looking for a woman to put into space. After she went up the other women selected to be cosmonauts were given the "your services are no longer required" letter.

    • jimagain profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim Henderson 

      14 months ago from Hattiesburg, Mississippi

      She was certainly a pioneer, in more ways than one. I cant imagine all the obstacles she had to overcome, as a woman, and as an astronaut; she forged paths irrespective of gender.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      14 months ago

      The Soviets were ahead in the space race from Sputnik to Apollo. It was one way for them to claim their system was superior. From a practical standpoint while scientists could claim a woman can travel into space and bear normal children. Until a woman, Tereshkova, did it no one knew for sure.

    • jimagain profile imageAUTHOR

      Jim Henderson 

      14 months ago from Hattiesburg, Mississippi

      Yes, she certainly was. I found that little nugget in an old copy of the Encyclopedia Britannica. There is a lot of material regarding her on Wikipedia, one of my favorite resources. I had failed to realize how instrumental this women's career was after her space odyssey. I particularly like how she wound up as a Russian astronaut. It seemed fortuitous.

      I will be sure to look that up on YouTube. Thanks!

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 

      14 months ago

      Great article. My son did a group project in his history class about Tereshkova. It's still out on YouTube. An interesting woman in an interesting time.

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