Wednesday January 23, 2019
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Happy Birthday Rakesh Sharma, India’s first space hero

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By Harshmeet Singh

Though the line ‘saare jahan se achcha, Hindustan hamara’ was first recited by Iqbal, it has been immortalized by Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian to fly into space. Despite being a part of all the school GK books and an answer to a common quiz question across the schools, Rakesh Sharma remains a down to earth person.

As he celebrates his 67th birthday today, NewsGram warmly wishes him a Happy Birthday by bringing to you five lesser known facts about the man who took India’s name higher than ever, both literally and figuratively!

  1. Upon his return from the space, he was conferred India’s highest peace time gallantry award, the Ashoka Chakra. He was also awarded the title ‘Hero of Soviet Union’, which was Soviet Union’s ‘highest distinction awarded personally or collectively for heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society.’

Ashoka Chakra was also conferred upon Col Yuri Vasilevich Malyzhev and Col Gennady Mikhailovich Strekalov, the other members of the mission. This remains the only occasion when Ashoka Chakra was awarded to foreigners.

2. After becoming a cosmonaut, he was a decorated pilot of the India Air Force and a squadron leader.

Rakesh Sharma1

3. He went to space in the Soviet rocket Soyuz T-11 which was a joint collaboration between ISRO and Soviet Intercosmos space program.

Rakesh Sharma2

4. Post his space journey, he joined the HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) to take up the role of Chief Test Pilot at the Nashik Division.

Kapil Sharma

5. His son, Kapil Sharma is a Bollywood director, and has directed the movie ‘I, Me aur Main’ starring John Abraham, Prachi Desai and Chitrangada Singh.

 

(Images courtesy: pages.rediff.comwww.famousbirthdays.comvayu-sena.tripod.com)

Next Story

India’s Second Moon Mission ‘Chandrayaan 2’ Scheduled For Mid-April: ISRO

Meanwhile, Israel, which is planning to launch its lunar mission in February, will most likely be the fourth nation to land a spacecraft on the moon, after China in December 2013, the US in 1969 and then Soviet Union in 1959

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The moon is seen near the Illimani mountain during a full lunar eclipse in La Paz, Bolivia, July 27, 2018. Photo: Reuters.

India’s second lunar mission Chandrayaan-2 with a lander and rover will be attempted in mid-April, a top space official said on Friday.

“We are targeting mid-April to launch Chandrayaan-2 as there were certain tests which could not be done in time for the earlier scheduled January 3 launch,” Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Chairman K. Sivan told reporters here.

The details of the tests, which were yet to be performed for the mission, were not disclosed by the space agency.

The window to land on the lunar surface is open between March 25 till the end of April, Sivan said.

The Rs 800-crore Chandrayaan-2 mission comes a decade after the maiden mission Chandrayaan-1 was launched on October 22, 2008 from the country’s only spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 90 km northeast of Chennai.

ISRO is the mastermind behind Mangalyaan mission. Wikimedia Commons

The 3,890-kg Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft, to be launched onboard the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mk-3, will orbit around the moon to study its conditions and collect data of its topography, mineralogy and exosphere.

After reaching the 100km lunar orbit, lander with rover will separate from the spacecraft and gradually descend to soft land on the moon at a designated spot. The rover’s instruments will observe and study the lunar surface.

The lander has been named “Vikram” as a tribute to the pioneer of India’s space programme and former ISRO chairman (1963-71) Vikram Sarabhai.

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While Chandrayaan-1 reached the lunar orbit on November 8, 2008 and its impact probe crashed onto the moon on November 14, 2008, the 675kg spacecraft was lost on August 29, 2009 after orbiting at 100km away from its surface and mapping its chemical, mineralogical and photo-geologic properties for over nine months.

Meanwhile, Israel, which is planning to launch its lunar mission in February, will most likely be the fourth nation to land a spacecraft on the moon, after China in December 2013, the US in 1969 and then Soviet Union in 1959. (IANS)