34 years ago, Rakesh Sharma became the only Indian to travel to space


NEW DELHI: Rakesh Sharma made history by becoming the first and only Indian to travel to space in a Soviet rocket that was launched on April 2, 1984.



Rakesh Sharma

Sharma, a former IAF pilot, was selected in September 1982 to travel into space as part of a joint programme by Isro and the Soviet Intercosmos space programme. In 1984, he became the first Indian to reach space when he flew on board Soviet rocket Soyuz T-11 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic. The Soyuz T-11 docked and transferred the three member Soviet-Indian international crew 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 43 experimental sessions.

1982年9月,曾是国际宇航联合会飞行员的沙尔玛被选中,作为印度太空研究组织和苏联宇宙空间计划联合项目的一份子赴太空旅行。1984年,他在哈萨克斯坦苏维埃社会主义共和国的拜科努尔航天发射场搭乘苏维埃火箭联盟号T-11,成为第一个到达太空的印度人。联盟号T-11将三名苏联-印度国际宇航员转移到Salyut 7轨道空间站。沙尔玛在Salyut 7号上度过了了7天21小时40分钟,在此期间,他的团队进行了包括43次实验在内的科学技术研究。

Rakesh Sharma spoke to TOI in December last year. Reminiscing on his journey in space, he said he felt lonely. “I feel sorry that I'm the only Indian to have been to space and that too 33 years ago. There hasn't been any other Indian, I feel lonely in that sense. I also feel bad that my other two companions on the trip are no more. It was of course, a life changing moment for me. The space journey has impacted me in a great way.”


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Sharma said he believed India was never part of the space race. “This is the reason it has reached so far. I believe that is the better way to go about it. We should do our own thing, up to now we have done all the right things. We are in a mode of survival today,” he noted.


He also gave his views on what he wanted the country to achieve. “I would like it to be a voice which shapes an inclusive policy for humans. We are at a threshold where we starting space exploration. We are going to populating the moon first and then Mars. I wish we don't do it by ourselves and alone because it will be resource intensive. I don't think so that it is the best way to utilise our resources given our other needs and compulsion. We are respected in the space community and we can carry our weight for future missions. I'm proud that India's space programme has achieved so much in such a short span of time,” he remarked.


The former IAF pilot was conferred with the honour of the Hero of the Soviet Union upon his return from space, while India conferred its highest peacetime gallantry award, the Ashoka Chakra, on him and the other two Soviet members of his mission, Malyshev and Strekalov.



Rakesh Sharma


Saurabh Nigam


Saurabh Nigam-20 hours ago

Don''t feel sorry for being the lonely and only indian traveller into space. India is busy giving reservations to privileged and rich Dalits while the talented general category is punished for not being a dalit .



Nick Thomas


Nick Thomas-20 hours ago

Good old times.... No bhakts, no Gau Gobar



TSR The Urbanist


TSR The Urbanist-Namma Bengaluru-20 hours ago

Salute to this great gentleman. Had the privilege to meet him personally and shake hands



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