It is a matter of pride that India became the 14th nation in the world on April 3, 1984 to have sent a man into space. Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma became India’s first man in space when he was launched aboard Soyuz T-II spaceship from the Baikonour cosmodrome in Kazakhastan (USSR) along with two Soviet cosmonauts, Flight Commander Yuri Vasilevich Malyshev and Flight Engineer Gennady Mikhailovich.

Apart from the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R., the countries that have sent a man into space are Bulgaria, Hungary, Vietnam, Cuba, Czechoslovakia, Poland, East and West Germany, Romania, Mongolia and France.

Sqn. Lrd. Sharma returned from his maiden space flight on April 11, 1984 landing on a carpet of fresh snow, 60 km from Arkalik, a small town in Kazakhastan, in a spectacular finish to the flawless mission.