Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma, AC, Hero of the Soviet Union, (born 13 January 1949) is a former Indian Air Force test pilot who flew aboard Soyuz T-11, launched April 3rd, 1984, as part of the Intercosmos programme. Sharma was the first Indian to travel in space.
He was born on 13 January 1949 at Patiala, Punjab, India. He attended St. Georges Grammar School, Hyderabad. He graduated from Nizam College. He joined Air Force cadet in 1966.
In 1984 he became the first citizen of India to go into space when he flew aboard the Soviet rocket Soyuz T-11 blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic on 2 April 1984.
He was conferred with the honour of Hero of Soviet Union upon his return from space. The Government of India conferred its highest gallantry award (during peace time), the Ashoka Chakra.