As Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman to visit outer space, she made a horrifying discovery - she had forgotten to bring a toothbrush.
Throughout the 20th century, the United States, Russia, and a handful of other nations made great strides towards exploring the cosmos beyond our own planet. According to a report from the Guardian, however, human problems can still exist outside of Earth.
On June 16, 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in the history of mankind to visit space. Unfortunately, the cosmonaut realized that she had made a grave mistake once she arrived – she had remembered to bring food, water, and toothpaste, but left her toothbrush back on the ground.
“My toothbrush was nothing compared to the fact that the spacecraft was programmed to ascend, but not to descend. Now that was a mistake,” Tereshkova recalls.
Granted, the landing software was a much bigger issue than forgetting a toothbrush. Ground control had to transmit and install a new program to the spacecraft to keep it close to Earth. Tereshkova parachuted safely to the surface from seven kilometers up.
The spacecraft would have orbited the Earth 48 times over the course of just two days, 22 hours, and 50 minutes before spinning out into deeper space. In all reality, brushing her teeth was likely one of the last things on the female cosmonaut’s mind at the time.
Tereshkova was the only Russian woman to visit space for the next 19 years. Today, she hopes that new women will follow in her footsteps and train to become cosmonauts.