Indian Astronauts Who Made It To Space
Written by: Gina Taranto
If you are familiar with names like Sunita Williams and Rakesh Sharma, you are probably up-to-date with the history of astronauts of Indian origins who have made it into space over the decades. At the end of 2020, NASA announced the names of the eighteen lucky astronauts who will have the absolute privilege to fly to the Moon and beyond by the year 2024, giving India plenty of reasons to celebrate.
Raja Jon Vurputoor Chari is the name of the 43-year-old astronaut who will join other 17 lucky astronauts in this spectacular and one-of-a-kind moon exploration endeavor.
Let's find out more about him and the rest of the astronauts with origins in the country with 1.38 billion inhabitants.
Rakesh Sharma, The First Indian To Make It To Space
Rakesh Sharma from Patiala, Punjab is a military pilot as well as a cosmonaut who has spent almost 8 glorious days onboard the Soyuz 7 orbital station, as part of a Soviet-Indian flight in a space mission. There, he was responsible for completing a series of interesting tests, including a study assessing the effects of yoga on the human body in its complete state of weightlessness specific to being in outer space. Yoga has actually proven excellent effects on relieving stress, anxiety, and a variety of other states of mental turmoil, as well as improving the overall state of health and our cognitive abilities. All these are is critical not only for astronauts, but also for students, passionate players who love to practice their skills at the best no deposit casinos in India, and regular people looking to let go of the daily stresses and struggles.
Rakesh is also the only citizen of India to ever travel in space, even though other astronauts with Indian origins and backgrounds have also joined similar missions over the years. When the country's prime minister Indira Gandhi asked Sharma about the way India looked from outer space, he replied with a famous quote from a national poet saying the country looked “better than the world”.
Kalpana Chawala, the First Indian Woman To Fly To Space
Kalpana was an American-Indian engineer and astronaut born in Karnal, and also the first Indian-born woman to fly to space onboard the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997. She fulfilled the role of a mission specialist, as well as a robot arm operator. She also flew to space for a second time in 2003, again on board the Space Shuttle Columbia. Unfortunately, she lost her life there together with the other six members of the crew as a result of the spacecraft disintegrating while returning into the Earth's atmosphere.
Sunita Williams Holds The Record For The Most Spacewalks By A Woman with Indian Origins
While Sunita Williams was born in the US, in Ohio, her father was Deepack Pandya, an Indian-American neuroanatomist, thus adding Sunita to the list of astronauts with Indian origins who have made it into space. Sunita is a US Navy officer who holds the record for the most spacewalks completed by a woman with Indian origins for her 7 spacewalks, as well as the record for the most time spent on a spacewalk for an Indian woman. She has spent a whopping total of almost 51 hours exploring space during her fascinating spacewalks. She joined the International Space Station as a crew member during Expedition 14 as well as Expedition 15. Almost a decade ago, she also joined Expedition 32 where she fulfilled the role of a flight engineer, and, later on, a commander.
Raja Chari Is The Forth Indian Who Will Go To Space
Raja has graduated from the US Air Force Academy, as well as MIT and the US Naval Test Pilot School and his impressive background, experience, determination, and passion have helped him get selected for the Astronaut Candidate Class in 2017. His amazing qualifications and excellent testing scores recorded during the class propelled him as the only Indian-American to join the list of 18 handpicked Moon goers by NASA.
Raja would be the fourth astronaut with an Indian background to ever make it into space, and his amazing mission will definitely send him on top of the list of the most noteworthy and honorable people in the country, along with the previously gifted astronauts we have mentioned earlier.
Fingers crossed for him and the other 17 astronauts who have joined the Artemis Program and fly to the Moon by 2024!
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