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Rakesh Sharma is born on 13th January, 1949 in Patiala in th state of Punjab. He is former Indian air force pilot who travel through the air by Soyuz T-11, inaugurated on 2nd April, 1984, as part of the Interkosmos plan. Sharma is the only Indian citizen who first travelled in space till date, in spite there are other Indian origin cosmonauts and astronauts who travelled to space but were not Indian citizens.
He did his schooling from one of the top schools in the city of Hyderabad, St. Paul’s High School, Hyderabad, and later he joined one of the ancient school named St. Georges Grammar School, Hyderabad. He completed his Bachelor Degree from Nizam College, Hyderabad. After completing his academics, he joined the Indian Air Force as a cadet in 1966, when he was just 18 years old. Thereafter, he was professed to the National Defense Academy as an air force junior in July 1966. Sharma was placed into the Indian Air Force to become a pilot in 1970. He was the first Indian who got the opportunity to travel into space.
An alumnus of the 35th National defense academy, Sharma unite as a test pilot in the Indian Air Force in 1970. He flew various aircraft to name a few are Mikoyan-Gurevich (MiG) aircraft starting from 1971. Sharma gained ground through numerous levels and in 1984, he was designated as a squadron leader and pilot in the Indian Air Force. He was nominated on 20th September, 1982 to become a cosmonaut and go into space as a member of a joint program between the Indian Space Research Organization and the Soviet Interkosmos space program. Sharma emeritus from IAF in the year 2001.
In 1984, he became the first Indian citizen to enter space when he flew aboard the Soviet rocket Soyuz T-11 inaugurated from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic on 2nd April, 1984. The Soyuz T-11 moored and shifted three member Soviet-Indian international crew, including the ship’s commander, Yury Malyshev, and flight engineer, Gennadi Strekalov, to the Salyut 7 Orbital Station. Sharma stayed in the space for 7 days, 21 hours, and 40 minutes aboard the Salyut 7 during which his team undertook some scientific and technical studies which included forty-three experimental sessions. Sharma’s work was predominantly in the fields of bio-medicine and remote sensing. The team held a combine television news conference with representatives in Moscow and the Honorable Indian Prime Minister Late. Smt. Indira Gandhi. PM Mrs. Gandhi asked Sharma how India looks like from the outer space, he answered, “Sare Jahan Se Accha” (the best in the world). This is the title of nationalist poem written by Iqbal, when India was under The British rule, which is still popular and murmurrised on National days. India was the 14th nation who sent a man to the outer space. He emeritus from the rank of wing commander. And then, he became part of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in 1987 and worked as the chief test pilot in the HAL Nashik Division till 1992, prior moving to Bangalore to work as the chief test pilot of HAL. Mr. Sharma was also linked with the light combat aircraft, Tejas.