Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian astronaut to be in space in 1984, recently praised the Chandrayaan-3 mission, which led India to become the first country to successfully land near the South Pole of the Moon.
On the success of the Chandrayaan-3 mission, Sharma told National Geographic: “I am not surprised, because I knew deep inside that ISRO will make it this time. I am already a proud Indian and I have become a prouder Indian now. I knew that ISRO will iron out all the challenges faced by Chandrayaan-2 and will make this mission a success.”
In 1984, Indian astronaut Rakesh Sharma embarked on an extraordinary space journey, playing a significant role in India’s space history. Let’s delve into his journey and find out what he is currently engaged in.
Sharma courageously explored the unknown space and achieved an amazing accomplishment and the whole nation remembers him with fondness today. His journey started when he joined a joint space programme between ISRO and the Soviet Interkosmos Space programme. On April 3, 1984, he traveled to space on Soyuz T-11 with two astronauts from the Soviet Union.
Sharma and his colleagues on Soyuz T-11 spacecraft, worked on scientific and technical investigations, including 43 experimental sessions, for seven days, 21 hours, and 40 minutes while aboard the Salyut 7. He focused mainly on remote sensing and biomedicine in his work.
During his time in space, this Indian astronaut captured the beauty of space, did yoga, and conducted experiments that advanced science. A touching moment occurred when then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asked him how India looked from space. With great love for his country, he replied, “Saare jahan se accha”.
Rakesh Sharma was born on January 13, 1949, in Patiala, Punjab to a Punjabi Hindu Brahmin family. He finished school at St. George’s Grammar School in Hyderabad and graduated from Nizam College in Hyderabad. He became an Air Force pilot by enrolling at the National Defence Academy in July 1966.
In 1970, Sharma officially became an Indian Air Force pilot. He also got training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre. For his commitment, he earned the prestigious Soviet “Hero of the Soviet Union” medal in 1982.
At present, reports said that the famous Indian astronaut Rakesh Sharma is living a simple life in Coonoor with his wife, Madhu. He also contributes to ISRO’s ambitious missions, serving on the National Space Advisory Council for the Gaganyaan venture.