Rakesh Sharma Birthday: 7 Interesting Facts About Cosmic Journey Of India’s Only Man In Space

-Interestingly, Rakesh Sharma reportedly had taken Indian food to space with the help of the Defense Food Research Lab situated in Mysore.

New Delhi: Even though countries like the United States and Russia (then USSR) have been the nations that forayed the space race during the latter half of the 20th century, India, a developing nation gradually made a name for itself and Rakesh Sharma a boy born on January 13, 1949, in Patiala, played a vital role in it by becoming the first Indian to go to space.

So on this Punjabi cosmonaut’s 74th birthday let’s have a look at some interesting facts about his journey. – He joined the National Defence Academy as an air force plebe in July 1966 and was commissioned into the Indian Air Force as a pilot in 1970.

– Sharma went on to become the first Indian citizen to reach outer space on April 2, 1984, when he flew aboard the Soviet rocket Soyuz T-11 launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic.

– He spent 7 days, 21 hours and 40 minutes in space and took India to become the 14th nation to travel to outer space. Sharma’s work was mainly in the fields of bio-medicine and remote sensing.- The Soyuz T-11 spacecraft carrying cosmonauts including Sharma docked and transferred the three-member Soviet-Indian international crew, consisting of the ship’s commander, Yury Malyshev, and flight engineer, Gennadi Strekalov, to the Salyut 7 Orbital Station.

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– Sharma conducted several scientific studies and experiments, his work including remote sensing and bio-medicine. The crew even held a conference with officials from space. When the then PM of India, Indira Gandhi asked Sharma how does India look from outer space, Sharma said “Saare Jahaan se Achcha”. He said that the most beautiful moments in space were of sunrise and sunset.

– Interestingly, Rakesh Sharma reportedly had taken Indian food to space with the help of the Defense Food Research Lab situated in Mysore. As per reports, they had packed suji halwa, aloo chole and veg pulao which Sharma shared with fellow astronauts.

– Sharma has been conferred the honour of the Hero of the Soviet Union upon his return from space. He remains to date the only Indian to have been conferred this honour. India also conferred its highest peacetime gallantry award, the Ashoka Chakra.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by HW News staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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