|Rakesh Sharma Quick Info|
|Height||5 ft 9 in|
|Date of Birth||January 13, 1949|
Rakesh Sharma is a former Indian Air Force pilot and cosmonaut who made history as the first-ever Indian citizen to travel in space on April 3, 1984. He flew aboard the Soyuz T-11 spacecraft alongside 2 Russian cosmonauts named Yury Malyshev and Gennadi Strekalov and spent a total of 7 days, 21 hours, and 40 minutes in space.
Patiala, Patiala and East Punjab States Union, Dominion of India (now in Punjab, India)
Coonoor (Kunnur), Tamil Nadu, India
Sharma was a student of St. George’s Grammar School located in Hyderabad. Furthermore, he earned his college degree from Hyderabad’s Nizam College.
In July 1966, he began training at the National Defense Academy as an air force plebe and, in 1970, he joined the Indian Air Force as a pilot.
Former Indian Air Force Pilot, Cosmonaut
5 ft 9 in or 175 cm
70 kg or 154.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Rakesh Sharma has dated –
- Madhu Sharma – For the last few decades, he has been happily married to a woman named Madhu. The couple is parents to a son named Kapil Sharma, who works as a film director, and a daughter named Krittika Sharma, who works as a media artist.
Race / Ethnicity
However, his hair has turned ‘Gray’ due to his advancing age.
- Bright smile
- He is soft-spoken.
Rakesh Sharma Facts
- After getting selected to go to space on September 20, 1982, he underwent rigorous training for the next 18 months, including practicing yoga, to prepare for his 8-day trip in space.
- In 2018, it was announced that his story would be turned into a biopic tentatively titled Saare Jahaan Se Achcha (formerly Salute). Several A-list actors such as Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Vicky Kaushal, and Farhan Akhtar were attached to the project at various times to play the lead role of Sharma.
- His son Kapil (different from the comedian Kapil Sharma) made his Bollywood debut as a director with the film, I, Me Aur Main (2013) starring John Abraham, Chitrangada Singh, Prachi Desai, Raima Sen, etc. Furthermore, he worked as an assistant director on such films as Being Cyrus (2005), Ghajini (2008), The Legend of Drona (2008), to name a few.
- After returning back from space, Sharma received the Hero of Soviet Union award, which was the highest distinction awarded in the former Soviet Union. Moreover, he stands as the only Indian to be honored with that prestigious award. Sharma was also awarded the Ashok Chakra, India’s highest peacetime military decoration, by the Government of India.
- In his distinguished career, he rose to the rank of squadron leader in 1984 and retired with the rank of wing commander in 1990.
- While in space, his team had conducted a television news conference with India’s then-Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. During their conversation, Gandhi asked Sharma how India looked from space, to which he famously replied, “Saare Jahaan Se Achcha Hindustan Hamara” (meaning: India is the best country in the world).
Featured Image by Subhav Sharma / Wikimedia / Public Domain