The outer space has a been an intriguing topic. With so many researches and findings of exploration in space over the years, there are many who aspire to go out there and experience the world from outside at least once. Indian scientists and cosmonauts too are working hard to explore more into the outer space but it was Rakesh Sharma who was the first Indian to venture into space. Born on January 13, 1949, today marks the 70th birthday of first Indian cosmonaut who went in space. He was a former Air Force pilot who flew aboard Soyuz T-11, launched on 2 April 1984. He was on a week-long mission to space station Salyut 7. Shah Rukh Khan’s Biopic on Rakesh Sharma Gets a New Title, Will Be Called Saare Jahaan Se Achcha.
Sharma was born in a Punjabi family in Patiala. After completing his education he joined as a cadet with the Indian Air Force in the year 1966. He was just 18 years of age then. He was later appointed as a test pilot by the Indian Air Force. He was excellent at his job and in the year 1982 he went to become a cosmonaut and go in space as a joint program between the Indian Space Research Organisation and the Soviet Intercosmos space program. On his 70th birthday today, let us know some more facts about him.
- Rakesh Sharma spent 7 days, 21 hours and 40 minutes aboard the Salyut 7 Orbital Station.
- It was Sharma who gave the slogan of "Sare Jahan Se Accha" in response to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's question of how India looks from the outer space. A patriotic song by the same title became popular while India was reeling under the colonial British rule.
- While in space, he performed various experiments along with his team. He also experimented with practising Yoga and studying its effects on the body in space.
- After returning from space, he was conferred with the honour of the Hero of the Soviet Union.
- He is also the recipient of India's highest peacetime gallantry award the Ashoka Chakra.
- He joined the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) in 1987 and retired from flying in the year 2001.
Rakesh Sharma is indeed the pride of the nation and held our country's name in high regard. To document his life and achievements, a movie is also going to be made on him.