MOSCOW, December 17. /TASS/. A second woman has joined the active-duty corps of Russian cosmonauts. Her name is Anna Kikina, 30, the press-service of the Russian space agency Roscosmos said on Wednesday.
“Upon completion of the general space training program and after a state certification test a panel of examiners made a decision to award the qualification ‘test cosmonaut’ to applicant Anna Kikina,” the Roscosmos press-service said.
Now she is to take special and advanced training — a mandatory procedure all 'test cosmonauts' undergo before being assigned to a crew.
According to information available from the website of the Gagarin Space Training Center, Kikina, b. August 27, 1984, is a graduate of the Novosibirsk State Academy of Inland Waterways Transport, with degrees in engineering and economics. Also, she is a certified rescue worker. Kikina is the holder of a master of sports degree in polyathlon and rafting and has four parachute jumps to her credit.
At a certain point, early last summer the certification commission expelled Kikina from the team of Russian cosmonauts by secret ballot only to overturn its own decision a short while later. In just several months Anna Kikina completed an advanced training course, which normally lasts one year, and acquired a number of special skills, including those crucial for survival after water landing.
So far four Soviet and Russian women cosmonauts have been in space: Valentina Tereshkova, Svetlana Savitskaya, Yelena Kondakova and Yelena Serova. The latter is currently well into her first mission aboard the ISS, which began last September.