On July 25th, 1984, Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in space when she conducted an EVA outside the Soviet Union’s Salyut 7 space station.
A test pilot and engineer, Savitskaya became a cosmonaut in 1980, she flew two missions: flying onboard Soyuz T-7 to the Salyut 7 Space station on August 19th, 1982 as a Research Cosmonaut, and returned home on Soyuz T-5 (which had been docked when she arrived). On July 17th, she flew aboard Soyuz T-12 to the space station where she performed her spacewalk.
Savitskaya’s inclusion on the mission prompted in part by NASA’s announcement in November 1983 that astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan would be the first woman to perform a spacewalk. Soviet mission planners decided that it was a milestone that they could reach first. Along with cosmonaut Vladimir Dzhanibekov, Savitskaya spent three and a half hours outside of the space station, where they tested out URI multipurpose tool, cutting and welding metal samples.