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.

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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.