Rakesh Sharma – The First Indian Who Travelled To Space and Made Our Country Proud

 

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Rakesh Sharma

Quick Facts

  • Name: Rakesh Sharma
  • Famous As: Space Traveller
  • Nationality: Indian
  • Birth Date: 13 January 1949 (Patiala)
  • Awards: Ashoka Chakra (1985), Hero of the Soviet Union

 

Have you ever wondered as to what exists in the outer space? We can see the skies, the Moon, the Sun and even some planets from a distance! What if we could go close to these planets and celestial bodies? What if we could land on the Moon? What if we could fly on space? Would our friends and foes be able to see us? There is only one way to find that out! It is by travelling to outer space! Sadly, Rakesh Sharma was the first Indian, who travelled to space. It was on 2nd April 1984.

Rakesh Sharma is the first Indian to go on this highly adventurous expedition. He is a retired man now but he feels sad that nobody went to explore the space after him. Let us take a look at his journey from a simple man to a well-known personality!

Early Life

Rakesh Sharma was born in the year 1949 on 13th January. He was born in a Punjabi family. Rakesh went to St. George’s Grammar School in Hyderabad, India. As a student, he was dedicated and committed to fulfil his heart’s true desires.

In the year 1966, he joined the Air Force Cadet in NDA. His parents were extremely proud and happy. In the year 1970, Rakesh Sharma joined Indian Air Force as a pilot. The young man was unstoppable. He fulfilled all his dreams! Little did he know that he would get the opportunity to travel in space.

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Rakesh Sharma with Ship Commander Yury Malyshev (Right) and Flight Engineer Gennadi Strekalov (Above)

When He Travelled to Space

After Rakesh got appointed as a test pilot in the Indian Air Force, he flew a Russian jet called Mikoyan Gurevich. After becoming a test pilot, it opened many doors for the young man. He could be a part of the war operations against Pakistan. In fact, Rakesh was a squadron leader in the prestigious Indian Air Force.

In the year 1984, India sent its first astronaut to space and it was Rakesh Sharma. He and his colleagues from different countries spent eight days in space. It was an unbelievable and unforgettable experience for the squadron leader.

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Rakesh Sharma – The First Indian Who Travelled To Space

Rakesh and his colleagues spent eight days in the Salyut 7 Space Station. Did you know that Sharma had to go through an 18 months training before he was sent for this mission? He was chosen out of hundreds of candidates. It is a big achievement for the test pilot.

He did intensive yoga before going for the eight day mission. It was going to be tough but he made up his mind and prepared himself for the worse scenario. Rakesh Sharma was launched with two other cosmonauts.

Prime Minister Indira Gandhi asked Rakesh about how India looked from the space and he replied, ‘Saare Jahan se acha Hindustan hamara’.

He made the country proud! Rakesh Sharma was the first person to travel to space and he continues to be a legend!

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First Space Traveller of India – Rakesh Sharma

Famous Quotes by Rakesh Sharma

“I feel sorry that I’m the only Indian to have been to space and that too, 33 years ago.” 
(Said in an Interview, 2017)

Rakesh Sharma feels sorry that in all these years, no other Indian travelled to space. He wanted more people to travel to space and experience it. The country would be proud that there is more number of Indians, who went for the space expedition.

“I would say, no, I hadn’t met God.”

Yes, Rakesh travelled to space but he did not meet God. Most people ask him whether he has seen God in the outer space. Just so you know, God lives in our hearts. He cannot be seen but his presence is felt.

“As anyone can imagine, going up into space was a very rich and memorable experience and yes, it was unforgettable too.”

He remembers those days when he travelled to space. Those days cannot be forgotten! Rakesh Sharma went to another world and it must be magical.

“Now many young mothers introduce me to their kids and tell them, ‘This uncle has been to the moon’.”

Ah! That feeling is extra-ordinary. We hear our mothers telling us about how somebody went to New York or Paris. When young mothers introduced Rakesh to their kids, they would praise him and he felt very good about it.

Rakesh Sharma is waiting for an Indian to travel to space once again! He wants the country to have more number of inspiring people. It was indeed an unforgettable experience for him! He takes pride in being an Indian and even from space; he believed that his country looked the best! The cosmonaut retired as a Wing Commander. He is truly an inspiration for the youth!

 

Written By: Anshu Choudhary

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