NASA administrator Bill Nelson delighted to meet Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian to fly to space

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson at ISRO during a one-week visit to India, November 29, 2023, seen here with Rakesh Sharma, first Indian to go to space. PHOTO X @SenBillNelson

Bengaluru: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Bill Nelson expressed delight at meeting students at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), and the first Indian to fly to space, Rakesh Sharma on Wednesday, November 29, 2023.

Nelson, who is on a visit to India, shared his experience on his social media X, Nelson said, “It was a great honor to speak with students in Bengaluru today with Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian to fly to space. His story lit up the room! To the Artemis Generation in India and beyond: Work hard, dream big, and reach for the stars. The universe is the limit!”

Rakesh Sharma went on to become the first Indian citizen to reach outer space on April 2, 1984, when he flew aboard the Soviet rocket Soyuz T-11 launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic.

He spent 7 days, 21 hours and 40 minutes in space to make India the 14th nation to travel to outer space. Sharma’s work was mainly in the fields of bio-medicine and remote sensing. He conducted several scientific studies and experiments in remote sensing and bio-medicine. The crew even held a conference with officials from space. When the then PM of India, Indira Gandhi asked Sharma how India looked from outer space, Sharma said “Saare Jahaan Se Achcha”. He said that the most beautiful moments in space were sunrise and sunset.
Nelson touched down in India on Tuesday, expressing his enthusiasm for a week of meetings and events aimed at strengthening the partnership between NASA and ISRO.

He emphasized that India is a leader in space and that he looks forward to a productive visit.
He will also be visiting the UAE for a series of meetings with key government officials.
Nelson will also meet with space officials in both countries to deepen bilateral cooperation across a broad range of innovation and research-related areas, especially in human exploration and Earth science, the American space agency NASA said in a release.

Nelson’s visit to India will fulfill a commitment as part of the US-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology initiated by President Joe Biden.



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