Indian astronauts

October 8, 2017
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Let's take a look at the Indian astronauts who made us proud with their achievements.

Rakesh Sharma

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Rakesh Sharma was the first Indian to travel to space. He was born on 13th January 1949 in Patiala. Rakesh Sharma joined the Indian Air Force (IAF) in 1970; he was a test pilot in IAF and swiftly progressed to other levels. On 20th September 1982, he was selected by the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO) to become a cosmonaut. He went to space as part of a joint mission between ISRO and the Soviet Intercosmos Space Programme, and thus became the first Indian to enter space.

After his return from space, he was given the honour of Hero of Soviet Union. The Indian government awarded him with an Ashoka Chakra.

Kalpana Chawla

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Kalpana Chawla was the first Indian woman in space and also the first Indian American astronaut. She was born in Karnal, India, in 1962. She had the determination to become an astronaut and that made her pursue many degrees in her field. She held a PhD in Aerospace Engineering. Her first flight to space was on Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997 as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator.

Unfortunately, in 2003, Kalpana Chawla was part of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster and lost her life. Kalpana was honoured with the Congressional Space Medal of Honour, NASA Space Flight Medal and NASA Distinguished Service Medal.

Sunita Williams

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The woman who holds the record for the longest single space flight (195 days) is Sunita Williams. She also holds the record of seven spacewalks which total up to 50 hours and 40 minutes. She holds the 5th rank when it comes to experienced space walkers.

She was born to Gujarati parents in Euclid, Ohio. On 9th December 2006, Williams was launched into space in STS-116, where she served as the mission specialist.

Ravish Malhotra

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Ravish Malhotra never went to space; he served as a backup for Rakesh Sharma on Soyuz T-11. Malhotra was born on 25 December 1943. He was awarded with the Kirti Chakra in 1984.

All the above Indian astronauts have made India proud with their strong determination and great achievements.

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