The Pegasus Awards

Following In Valentina's Footsteps SAM

Valerie Housden

Pegasus Award

Award Year Category
2020 Best Space Song

Pegasus Nominations

Year Category
2016 Best Exploration Song
2015 Best Classic Filk Song
2008 Best Classic Filk Song

Following In Valentina's Footsteps

Copyright ©1991 Valerie R. Housden- All Rights Reserved
Used by permission of the author

Back in nineteen sixty-three in Vostok six she flew.
Those few bright days in sunny June when all spaceflight was new
Gave us a goal we could aim for, a promise is how it seemed,
And as we saw the tv pictures, so many of us dreamed

  (Of) Following in Valentina's1) footsteps,
Flying out further and beyond,
Playing our part for the future,
Making the dream live on,
Helping us push our horizons
Out past Jupiter and Mars,
Following in Valentina's footsteps
On that long road out to the stars.

The decade passed, then ten more years from those heady days in June,
Soyuz and Apollo flew, and men walked upon the moon,
The promise all but broken, till Sally2) flew to even the score
But politics still intervened, Svetlana3) flew the year before.
  (They both were) Following in Valentina's footsteps
(Though) As rivals they were then viewed,
They played their part for the future,
Helping the dream come true.
The science of space station and shuttle
Is breaking our Earthly prison bars.
(They were) Following in Valentina's footsteps
On that long road out to the stars.

Seven stars burned far too bright on that chilly winter's morn,
As from careless ambition a great fireball was born.
The Teacher and the Specialist died in that infernal rage.
But both Christa4) and Judy5) wrote their names on history's page
  (As they went) Following in Valentina's footsteps
Though they left us rather soon
And millions mourned their passing-
From death none is immune.
Their names live on in glory,
Though few may travel as far,
Following in Valentina's footsteps
On that long road out to the stars.

Born in nineteen sixty-three when Vostok six did fly,
The circle made another turn, the hopeful reached to the sky.
And answered Juno's summons, though it meant a long exile.
Helen's6) no Barbarella, but she left with a wave and a smile.
  (As she went) Following in Valentina's footsteps
To Peace in peace she came.
The first of her countrymen-
We would do the same
Must fight to make it happen,
And not simply dream from afar.
Then we'll follow in Valentina's footsteps
On that long road out to the stars.

1) Valentina Tereshkova - the first woman in space (1963)
2) Sally Ride - the first American woman in space (1983)
3) Svetlana Savitskaya - the second woman in space (1982) and the first woman to perform an EVA (July 1984).
4) Christa McAuliffe - the first teacher in space (1986)
5) Judy Resnik – mission specialist killed in the Challenger disaster (1986)
6) Helen Sharman - the first Briton in space, who rode up to the Mir space station in Soviet hardware as part of Project Juno (May 1991)


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