Rakesh Sharma

Last updated


Rakesh Sharma

AC
Rakesh sharma.jpg
Rakesh Sharma, as a Squadron Leader in military uniform
Born (1949-01-13) 13 January 1949 (age 72)
Occupation Test pilot at the Indian Air Force
Awards Ashoka Chakra ribbon.svg Ashok Chakra
Hero of the USSR Gold Star.png Hero of the Soviet Union
Space career
Time in space
7d 21h 40m
Selection1982
Missions Soyuz T-11 / Soyuz T-10
Mission insignia
Soyuz T-11 mission patch.gif
Military career
AllegianceFlag of India.svg  India
Service/branchAir Force Ensign of India.svg  Indian Air Force
Rank Wing Commander of IAF.png Wing Commander
Spouse(s)Madhu
Children2

Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma, AC (born 13 January 1949) is a former Indian Air Force pilot who flew aboard Soyuz T-11 on 3 April 1984 with the Soviet Interkosmos programme. He is the only Indian citizen to travel in space, although there have been other astronauts with an Indian background who were not Indian citizens. [1] [2]

Contents

Early life

Born on 13 January 1949 in Patiala of present-day Punjab, India, [3] Sharma attended St. Georges Grammar School, Hyderabad [3] and graduated from Nizam College, Hyderabad. He was admitted to the National Defence Academy as an air force plebe in July 1966 [4] and was commissioned into the Indian Air Force as a pilot in 1970, [5] thereafter becoming the first man from India to go into space.

Career

An alumnus of the 35th  National Defence Academy, Sharma joined the Indian Air Force as a test pilot in 1970 and progressed through numerous levels where in 1984 he was promoted to the rank of squadron leader. [3] He was selected on 20 September 1982 to become a cosmonaut and go into space as part of a joint programme between the Indian Air Force and the Soviet Interkosmos space programme. [6]

In 1984, Sharma became the first Indian citizen to enter space when he flew aboard the Soviet rocket Soyuz T-11 launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic on 3 April 1984. 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. Sharma spent 7 days, 21 hours, and 40 minutes aboard the Salyut 7 during which his team conducted scientific and technical studies which included forty-three experimental sessions. His work was mainly in the fields of bio-medicine and remote sensing. [6] The crew held a joint television news conference with officials in Moscow and then Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. When Gandhi asked Sharma how India looked from outer space, he replied, " Sare Jahan Se Accha " (the best in the world). This is the title of a patriotic poem by Iqbal that had been written when India was under British colonial rule, that continues to be popular today. With Sharma's voyage aboard Soyuz T-11, India became the 14th nation to send a man to outer space. [6]

Sharma retired as a wing commander and later joined Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in 1987, serving as the chief test pilot in the HAL Nashik Division until 1992, before moving on to Bangalore to work as HAL's chief test pilot. Sharma retired from flying in 2001. [1]

Military awards and decorations

Sharma was 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, on him and the two Soviet members of his mission, Malyshev and Strekalov. [6]


Ashoka Chakra ribbon.svg IND Paschimi Star Ribbon.svg IND Sangram Medal Ribbon.svg
IND Sainya Seva Medal Ribbon.svg IND Videsh Seva Medal Ribbon.svg IND 25th Anniversary Independence medal.svg IND 9YearsServiceMedalRibbon.svg
Ashok Chakra Paschimi Star Sangram Medal
Sainya Seva Medal
Videsh Seva Service Medal
25th Anniversary of Independence Medal
9 Years Long Service Medal

Personal life

Sharma married Madhu. His son, Kapil, is a film director, [7] while his daughter, Kritika, is a media artist.

A biographical Hindi-language film titled, Saare Jahaan Se Achcha (formerly "Salute"), is under pre-production since 2018. [8]

See also

Related Research Articles

Svetlana Savitskaya Soviet cosmonaut

Svetlana Yevgenyevna Savitskaya is a retired Soviet aviator and cosmonaut who flew aboard Soyuz T-7 in 1982, becoming the second woman in space. On her 1984 Soyuz T-12 mission she became the first woman to fly to space twice, and the first woman to perform a spacewalk.

Interkosmos Soviet international spaceflight program

Interkosmos was a Soviet space program, designed to help the Soviet Union's allies with crewed and uncrewed space missions.

Salyut 7 Space station launched on 19 April 1982

Salyut 7 was a space station in low Earth orbit from April 1982 to February 1991. It was first crewed in May 1982 with two crew via Soyuz T-5, and last visited in June 1986, by Soyuz T-15. Various crew and modules were used over its lifetime, including 12 crewed and 15 uncrewed launches in total. Supporting spacecraft included the Soyuz T, Progress, and TKS spacecraft.

Aleksei Gubarev

Aleksei Aleksandrovich Gubarev was a Soviet cosmonaut who flew on two space flights: Soyuz 17 and Soyuz 28.

Anatoly Solovyev

Anatoly Yakovlevich Solovyev is a retired Russian and Soviet cosmonaut and pilot. Solovyev was born on January 16, 1948, in Riga, Latvia. Solovyev holds the world record on the number of spacewalks performed (16), and accumulated time spent spacewalking.

Gennadi Strekalov

Gennadi Mikhailovich Strekalov, 26 October 1940 – 25 December 2004, was an engineer, cosmonaut, and administrator at Russian aerospace firm RSC Energia. He flew into space five times and lived aboard the Salyut 6, Salyut 7, and Mir space stations, spending over 268 days in space. The catastrophic explosion of a Soyuz rocket in 1983 led to him being one of only four people to use a launch escape system. He was decorated twice as Hero of the Soviet Union.

Vladimir Georgiyevich Titov

Vladimir Georgiyevich Titov is a retired Russian Air Force Colonel and former cosmonaut. He has participated in four spaceflight missions. The catastrophic explosion of a Soyuz rocket in 1983 led to him being one of only four people to use a launch escape system. He is married to Alexandra Kozlova, they have two children.

Phạm Tuân

Phạm Tuân is a retired Vietnam Air Force aviator and space traveler. He became the first Vietnamese citizen and the first non-Soviet Asian in space when he flew aboard the Soyuz 37 mission as an Interkosmos Research Cosmonaut. He was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.

Georgi Ivanov (cosmonaut)

Major general Georgi Ivanov Kakalov is a Bulgarian former military officer who was the first Bulgarian cosmonaut. He was a member of the National Assembly of Bulgaria in 1990.

Soyuz T-11 1984 space expedition

Soyuz T-11 was the 6th expedition to Salyut 7, and carried the first Indian cosmonaut to the Salyut 7 station.

Soyuz T-12

Soyuz T-12 was the seventh crewed spaceflight to the Soviet space station Salyut 7. The name "Soyuz T-12" is also the name of the spacecraft used to launch and land the mission's three-person crew. The mission occurred in July 1984, during the long-duration expedition Salyut 7 EO-3. During the mission, crew member Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to ever perform a spacewalk, and the potential Buran Space shuttle pilot, Igor Volk, was given spaceflight experience. Unlike many Soyuz visiting missions, the Soyuz lifeboats were not swapped, and the crew returned to Earth in the same spacecraft in which they launched.

Aleksandr Panayotov Aleksandrov

Aleksandr Panayotov Aleksandrov is a retired Bulgarian cosmonaut. He is the second Bulgarian to have flown to space, behind Georgi Ivanov.

Leonid Kizim

Leonid Denisovich Kizim was a Soviet cosmonaut.

Vladimir Vasyutin

Vladimir Vladimirovich Vasyutin was a Soviet cosmonaut.

Yuri Malyshev (cosmonaut)

Yuri Vasilyevich Malyshev was a Soviet cosmonaut who served on the Soyuz T-2 and Soyuz T-11 missions.

Vladimir Solovyov (cosmonaut)

Vladimir Alekseyevich Solovyov is a former Soviet cosmonaut.

Ravish Malhotra

Ravish Malhotra is a retired Air Commodore of the Indian Air Force. He was an Air Force test pilot stationed at the test centre in Bangalore. He was also the Air Officer Commanding of Hindon Air Force Station near Delhi.

The Bulgarian cosmonaut program refers to human spaceflight efforts by the People's Republic of Bulgaria. The idea of a Bulgarian manned space mission predated the launch of Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite. An informal proposal for the Soviet Union to send a Bulgarian cosmonaut in space was issued in 1964, but it was not seriously considered by the Soviets. Official space cooperation began in 1966 with the establishment of the Interkosmos programme which allowed Communist Bloc countries to access Soviet space technology and assets.

Indian Air Force Test Pilot School

The Indian Air Force Test Pilot School is a unit of the Indian Air Force (IAF) that evaluates aircraft and systems for induction into user organisations. Most new aircraft types and major airborne systems must have ASTE's stamp of approval to be considered fit for service in India. While many countries have testing facilities of one kind or the other, training of flight test personnel is not often imparted in them. ASTE's Air Force Test Pilots School (AFTPS) is only the fifth such institution in the world.

References

  1. 1 2 "Cosmonaut Biography: Rakesh Sharma". Spacefacts.de. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  2. "Rakesh Sharma". Mapsofindia.com. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  3. 1 2 3 "Rakesh Sharma". aerospaceguide.net. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  4. Tragedy and triumph in orbit : the eighties and early nineties. 195: Springer. ISBN   978-1-4614-3430-6.CS1 maint: location (link)
  5. "Service Record for Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma 12396 F(P) at Bharat Rakshak.com". Bharat Rakshak.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Srinivasan, Pankaja (4 April 2010). "The down to earth Rakesh Sharma". The Hindu . Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  7. "Kapil Sharma onsepvember 2019".
  8. "Farhan Akhtar Finalised to Star in Rakesh Sharma Biopic?". TheQuint. 30 July 2020. Retrieved 25 November 2020.