definition of Wikipedia
|Intercosmos Research Cosmonaut|
January 13, 1949 |
Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
|Other occupation||Test Pilot|
|Rank||Wing Commander, Indian Air Force|
|Time in space||7d 21h 40m|
|Missions||Soyuz T-11 / Soyuz T-10|
|Awards|| Ashok Chakra
Hero of the Soviet Union
Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma, AC, Hero of the Soviet Union, (born January 13, 1949) is a former Indian Air Force test pilot who flew aboard Soyuz T-11 as part of the Intercosmos program. Sharma was the first Indian to travel in space.
Sharma was born in 1949 in Patiala, Punjab, India in a Hindu gaur Brahmin family and was schooled at St. George's Grammar School (Hyderabad) & Kendriya Vidyalaya Tirumalagiri, Hyderabad. He joined the NDA as an Air Force cadet in July 1966. He was commissioned into the Indian Air Force as a Pilot Officer in 1970. In 1971 operations against Pakistan, he flew various missions in his MiG aircraft with distinction.
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Sharma joined the Indian Air Force and progressed rapidly through the ranks. Sharma, then a Squadron Leader and pilot with the Indian Air Force embarked on a historic mission in 1984 as part of a joint space program between the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Soviet Intercosmos space program, and spent eight days in space aboard the Salyut 7 space station. Launched along with two Soviet cosmonauts aboard Soyuz T-11 on the 3 April 1984, was 35-year-old Sharma. During the flight, Sharma conducted multi-spectral photography of northern India in anticipation of the construction of hydroelectric power stations in the Himalayas. In a famous conversation, he was asked by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi how India looked from space, to which he replied, ''Main binaa jhijhak ke keh sakta hoon.., Sare Jahan Se Achcha" (a reference to an iconic poem used in India's freedom struggle, usually referred to as 'Saare jahaan se achha Hindu ustah haamara, ' our land of Hindustan, is the Best in the world').
He was conferred with the honour of Hero of Soviet Union upon his return from space. The Government of India conferred its highest gallantry award (during peace time), the Ashoka Chakra on him and the other two Soviet members of his mission.
Sharma and his backup, Wing Commander Ravish Malhotra, also prepared an elaborate series of zero-gravity Yoga exercises which the former had practised aboard the Salyut 7. Retiring with the rank of Wing Commander, Sharma joined Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) as a test pilot at its Nashik Division. He was later based at the National Flight Test Center (NFTC) in Bangalore and worked on the indigenous Light Combat Aircraft program, among others.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Rakesh Sharma|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Soyuz T-10|
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