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Rakesh Sharma: First Indian Astronaut to conquer space

Rakesh Sharma: First Indian Astronaut to conquer space was born on 13 January 1949 in Punjab. Cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian and the 138th person in the world to go into space. Astronaut Rakesh Sharma spent seven days in the Salyut 7 space position in April 1984. Sharma retired from the Indian Air Force as a Wing Commander. His achievement made India the 14th country to carry a man beyond space. 

Rakesh Sharma: First Indian Astronaut to conquer space
Rakesh Sharma: First Indian Astronaut to conquer space

Rakesh was born on January 13, 1949, in Patiala, Punjab. Rakesh Sharma completed his school studied at St. George’s Grammar School, in Hyderabad. Later he graduated from Nizam College, in Hyderabad. In July 1966 he was accepted to the National Defence Academy (NDA) in Pune. Later he became a committed deputy in the Indian Air Force (IAF) in the year 1970.

He went to space as a role of a collective program between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Soviet Intercosmos space program. He became the first Indian citizen to enter outer space on April 2, 1984. He and his fellow astronauts spent 7 days, 21 hours, and 40 minutes in the space station.

He simultaneously with a large number of comrade candidates went over many examinations first at the Institute of Aerospace Medicine in Bangalore, India, and then to Moscow, Russia. The huge group was progressively decreased to a shortlist of four competitors before a concluding series of medical examinations left only two candidates Rakesh Sharma and Ravish Malhotra both of them signifying Indian Air Force aerialists. It was made transparent at the rise that indeed though only one of the shortlisted candidates would eventually make the grade for the space voyage, the other one would be standby immediate deployment for any circumstances. However, the identification of who specifically would be the fortunate one would be perceived only towards the latter plane before the original space flying.

Indian Air Force Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma
Indian Air Force Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma

On April 2, 1984, Indian Air Force Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma became the leading and first Indian to go into space when he traveled aboard the Soviet Union spacecraft Soyuz T-11 that was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome a launching site for spacecraft in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. The spacecraft was launched and transported the three-member astronauts from the Soviet-Indian international team which added the spaceship commander head Yury Malyshev and flight engineer Gennadi Strekalov, to the Salyut 7 Orbital trajectory Space Station. 

IAF Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma was engaged in the Indian Air Force in 1970. While in the military, he operated and flew several aircraft in his preparation and quickly progressed into ranks to convert into a wing commander. Sharma was appointed to be a member of a joint space program among ISRO and the Soviet Intercosmos program. He became the first and the only Indian national who traveled into space aboard the Soviet spacecraft Suyoz-T11. Rakesh Sharma was an alumnus of the National Defense Academy.

Interestingly, Rakesh Sharma had brought Indian food to space with the assistant of the Defense Food Research Lab established in Mysore India. They made special packages for the first Indian space traveler and had prepared suji halwa, aloo chole, and pulao which astronauts Sharma shared with comrade Soviet astronauts. His task in the space station was concentrated on fields of biomedicine and isolated sensing. In order to muddle through with space ailment, Sharma practiced ‘zero gravity yoga’ so that he would not be sick in space and concentrate on his work.

When Indira Gandhi asked Rakesh Sharma how does India see from outer space
When Indira Gandhi asked Rakesh Sharma how does India see from outer space

The team operated a television interview with Moscow administrators and then the former First Female Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. The then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi asked Rakesh Sharma how does India see from outer space, Sharma said “Saare Jahaan Se Achcha”. He later said that the most fascinating significant moment in space was that of seeing sunrise and sunset. Since he was a child, Rakesh was influenced by the outer space system. He once Remembered the story of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s arrival to space, Mr. Sharma says, I was a student when astronaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space in 1961, and I outdistance every lettered statement.”

Astronaut Rakesh Sharma with his fellow astronauts Yuri Malyshev and Genadi Strekalov
Astronaut Rakesh Sharma with his fellow astronauts Yuri Malyshev and Genadi Strekalov

Many people consider astronaut Rakesh Sharma to be the greatest and first soul to stroll on the moon. He is simply the first Indian person to went into space. Sharma is the first Indian to have been awarded the ‘Hero of Soviet Union’ award upon his return from space. He has also conferred Ashok Chakra along with his Soviet co cosmonauts Yuri Malyshev and Genadi Strekalov by the Government of India.