Rakesh Sharma (Astronaut) Height, Weight, Age, Wife, Children, Biography & More

Astronaut Rakesh Sharma profile


Real NameRakesh Sharma
NicknameNot Known
ProfessionFormer Indian Air Force Pilot, Astronaut
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 168 cm
in meters- 1.68 m
in Feet Inches- 5’ 6”
Weight (approx.)in Kilograms- 69 kg
in Pounds- 153 lbs
Eye ColourLight Brown
Hair ColourWhite
Personal Life
Date of Birth13 January 1949
Birth PlacePatiala, Punjab, India
Age (as in 2017)68 Years
Zodiac sign/Sun signCapricorn
HometownHyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
SchoolSt. Georges Grammar School, Hyderabad
College/UniversityNizam College, Hyderabad
Educational QualificationsNot Known
FamilyFather- Devendranath Sharma
Mother- Tripata Sharma
Brother- Not Known
Sister- Not Known
HobbiesListening to Vintage music, collecting pencil sketches, reading books, photography
Space MissionSoyuz T-11 (1984)
Rakesh Sharma and fellow astronauts
Time Spent in Space7 days 21 hours and 40 minutes
Awards• Conferred with the honour of the 'Hero of the Soviet Union.'
• Awarded the Ashoka Chakra, highest peacetime gallantry award.
Girls, Affairs and More
Marital StatusMarried
Affairs/GirlfriendsNot Known
Wife/SpouseMadhu (Interior Decorator)
Rakesh Sharma with his wife Madhu and son Kapil
ChildrenSon- Kapil
Rakesh Sharma son Kapil Sharma
Daughter- Late Mansi, Kritika

Rakesh Sharma Astronaut


Some Lesser Known Facts About Rakesh Sharma

  • Rakesh Sharma joined the Indian Air force as a cadet in the year 1966, when he was just 18.
  • After passing successfully from the National Defence Academy, Pune, he was commissioned into the Indian Air force as a test pilot. His perseverance and grit became evident 4-years later, when he was finally commissioned as a ‘pilot.’
  • Sharma slowly and steadily advanced through many levels, and in 1984, he was appointed as the Squadron Leader of the Indian Air Force.
  • In the year 1980, Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) asked the Indian Air Force (IAF) to select two cosmonauts for a joint Indo-Soviet manned space mission. Thus, Wing Commanders Ravish Malhotra, 40, and Rakesh Sharma, 36, were chosen for the task. However, due to some reasons, the requirement was later reduced to only a single man. Hence, younger and ‘more robust’ Sharma was chosen for the mission.
  • Sharma then underwent rigorous training for around 3 years. As part of the training, he was locked up by the air force in a room with artificial lights at an aerospace facility in Bangalore for 72 hours to test for “latent claustrophobia”. Additionally, he had to learn the Russian language quickly, as most of his training instructions were addressed in the same.
  • Unfortunately, when Sharma was training in Moscow, he received the news that his 6-year-old daughter, Mansi, was no more. In spite of this, he did not abandon his training and went on to become the 128th man and only the first Indian to go to space.
  • As part of the voyage, Sharma spent around 8 days aboard the Salyut 7 Orbital Station. At the station, his job was to conduct experiments, mainly in the fields of biomedicine and remote sensing.
  • When the then PM of India, Indira Gandhi, asked Sharma, on a hazy live link, how India looked from space, he delivered a line in Hindi which would have easily become a viral tweet today. “Saare Jahan Se Achaa (The Best in the World)”, Sharma had replied.Rakesh Sharma with then PM Indira Gandhi
  • When Sharma came back home, little did he know that his achievement would be soon forgotten at the expense of 1984 anti-Sikh riots.
  • He retired from the IAF with the rank of Wing Commander in 1987. Post retiring, Sharma joined Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and served as the Chief Test Pilot in the HAL Nashik Division till 1992.
  • Sharma had a close shave with death during his stint with the HAL. One day when he was testing a MIG-21 fighter jet near Ozar in Nashik, he lost control of the plane owing to a technical snag. Fortunately, Sharma ejected out of the jet at the last moment.
  • In an interview, he revealed that he practiced The zero gravity yoga’ so as to deal with the issue of space sickness.
  • Many people think that Rakesh Sharma is the first Indian to walk on the moon. However, this is a misconception and should not be given any heed. Putting simply, Sharma has never walked on the moon and is only the first Indian to go to space.
  • His son, Kapil Sharma, is a Bollywood film director, who directed the 2013 John Abraham starrer- I, Me Aur Main. The movie, however, couldn’t do well at the box-office.I Me Aur Main poster

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