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Interview with Indian cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma
« dnia: Listopad 06, 2013, 02:53 »
Episode 63 – Rakesh Sharma India’s first and only spaceman.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up_ANSNTB-U" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=up_ANSNTB-U</a>

India and Space

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMwCsHEjL0k" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMwCsHEjL0k</a>
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Odp: Interview with Indian cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma
« Odpowiedź #1 dnia: Wrzesień 30, 2018, 17:00 »
Zbliża się 70 rocznica urodzin i 35 rocznica lotu kosmicznego Rakesha Sharmy.
Dzisiaj jest jedynym żyjącym członkiem wyprawy Sojuza T-11.







<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4bWUIIo3qg" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4bWUIIo3qg</a>

Link do materiału: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4bWUIIo3qg

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIZRuRZnvQs" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIZRuRZnvQs</a>

Link do materiału: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HIZRuRZnvQs

https://www.indiatoday.in/education-today/gk-current-affairs/story/rakesh-sharma-303528-2016-01-13#close-overlay
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/i-feel-sorry-that-im-the-only-indian-to-have-been-to-space-and-that-too-33-years-ago-rakesh-sharma/articleshow/61926581.cms
http://media.kennedyspacecenter.com/kennedy/indias-first-astronaut-rakesh-sharma-shares-his-experience-in-space-at-kennedy-space-center-visitor-complex-this-fall.htm
« Ostatnia zmiana: Grudzień 17, 2018, 08:22 wysłana przez Orionid »

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Odp: Interview with Indian cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma
« Odpowiedź #2 dnia: Wrzesień 30, 2018, 17:19 »
HINDUSKIE WARTOŚCI W KOSMOSIE
RAKESH SHARMA, TOMASZ AUGUSTYNIAK 24.09.2018


TOMASZ AUGUSTYNIAK

RAKESH SHARMA, jedyny indyjski kosmonauta: Nasz głos nie będzie ignorowany przy wypracowywaniu międzynarodowej polityki kosmicznej.

TOMASZ AUGUSTYNIAK: Indyjska agencja kosmiczna ISRO przetestowała już kilka technologii potrzebnych do lotów załogowych, ale rok 2022 to ciągle ambitny termin pierwszej takiej misji. Czy realistyczny?

RAKESH SHARMA: Dotąd z sukcesem testowano prototyp kapsuły załogowej i system ewakuacji. Teraz trzeba przeprowadzić loty próbne nowej rakiety GSLV Mk III i udowodnić, że jest bezpieczna dla ludzi. Gdy załoga zostanie już wybrana, podstawowe szkolenie przejdzie za granicą. To sposób na zredukowanie do minimum potrzebnego czasu. Ale trening dotyczący pojazdu, którym astronauci polecą, trzeba będzie prowadzić już w Indiach. Terminarz faktycznie będzie napięty, ale plan jest możliwy do zrealizowania, w najgorszym wypadku z lekkim poślizgiem.

Indyjski program kosmiczny długo miał pragmatyczne cele. Czy ISRO przechodzi od praktycznego wykorzystania kosmosu do bardziej spektakularnych przedsięwzięć?

Dokonania ISRO każą wierzyć, że nadal będzie wykorzystywać kosmos dla dobra społeczeństwa. Nie wiemy dokładnie, jak w przyszłości będzie można użyć technologii i wiedzy pozyskanej podczas lotów załogowych do pomnażania majątku narodowego. Ale ostatecznie na pewno pomoże to naszym obywatelom. Nie uważam, że spektakularne misje to cel sam w sobie, bo zwykli ludzie nie są specjalnie zainteresowani tym, co wysyłamy z kosmodromu w Sriharikocie. Zmagają się z codziennymi problemami: chcą zabezpieczyć rodzinom pożywienie, opiekę zdrowotną, edukację. Inżynierowie i naukowcy po prostu konsekwentnie, krok po kroku rozwijają technologie.

Czy program lotów załogowych służy też celom politycznym? Premier Modi i jego Indyjska Partia Ludowa (BJP) w 2019 r. będą się ubiegać o reelekcję.

Premier Narendra Modi, któremu podlega rządowe biuro ds. przestrzeni kosmicznej, z pewnością chce się pokazać przed wyborami jako człowiek z wizją. Cieszę się, że dał programowi zielone światło, bo niezależnie od motywów politycznych, naukowcy i inżynierowie mogą teraz przystąpić do konkretnej pracy: po sformowaniu zespołu rozbudują wyrzutnię rakiet, zbudują centrum kontroli misji i zaczną dobór i trening astronautów.

Dlaczego Indie w ogóle powinny wysyłać w kosmos ludzi, skoro to przedsięwzięcia satelitarne przynoszą dziś realne korzyści?

Kiedy Indie staną się pełnoprawnym mocarstwem kosmicznym – mam na myśli posiadanie tych wszystkich kompetencji, które mają kraje z załogowymi programami – ich głos nie będzie mógł być ignorowany, gdy przyjdzie czas wypracowywania przyszłej międzynarodowej polityki związanej z zarządzaniem przestrzenią kosmiczną. Nie chodzi tylko o korzyści dla mojego kraju. Indyjski etos jest u swoich korzeni inkluzywny, konfrontacja nie leży w naszej naturze, będziemy więc mogli zgodnie z naszymi wartościami dążyć do wypracowania bardziej otwartej polityki kosmicznej. Liczę, że skorzystają na tym inne kraje rozwijające się. Indie nigdy nie podjęły z nikim kosmicznego współzawodnictwa, nasze przedsięwzięcia zawsze skupiały się na rozwoju.

Są pomysły, by Indie dzieliły się doświadczeniem zdobytym w kosmosie z innymi krajami. Pierwszym przedsięwzięciem jest wystrzelony w 2017 r. satelita telekomunikacyjny GSAT-9, przeznaczony dla Azji Południowej

Takich inicjatyw powinno być więcej. Szefowa Biura ONZ ds. Przestrzeni Kosmicznej zwróciła uwagę na pogłębiającą się przepaść między krajami zdolnymi do wykorzystywania potencjału, jaki daje kosmos, i tymi, które nie mają takich możliwości. Możemy pomóc innym, zwłaszcza w Azji Południowej i Afryce, w tanim dostępie do ziemskiej orbity i dzielić się danymi. Nie tylko zdobędziemy sojuszników, ale pokażemy, że współpraca w kosmosie prowadzi do pokoju.

Ostatnio wiele krajów skupia się na badaniach Księżyca. Wkrótce poleci tam chiński lądownik, a w 2019 r. Chandrayaan-2, kolejna indyjska misja robotyczna. ESA i NASA przymierzają się do budowy na Księżycu stałej bazy. Jaka jest rola Indii w jego eksploracji?

Wiele zależy od tego, czy indyjski program kosmiczny będzie nadal takim sukcesem jak do tej pory. Oraz czy wypracujemy konsens z innymi. Po raz pierwszy w historii ludzie chcą opuścić Ziemię z zamiarem osiedlenia się poza nią. Tylko garstka państw doprowadzi do ponownego lądowania i budowy bazy na Księżycu i to wyłącznie, jeśli będą współpracować, bo to przedsięwzięcie poza czyimkolwiek indywidualnym zasięgiem. Powinniśmy wziąć w tym udział. Byłbym szczęśliwy, gdyby Indie znalazły się przy stole, przy którym zdecydują się przyszłe traktaty kosmiczne. Inaczej zostaną one napisane w sposób stary, konfrontacyjny. Dlatego musimy być pełnoprawnym członkiem kosmicznej wspólnoty, co m.in. oznacza loty załogowe.

RAKESH SHARMA jest emerytowanym oficerem indyjskiego lotnictwa, pilotem doświadczalnym, rzecznikiem załogowej eksploracji kosmosu. W 1984 r. wziął udział w orbitalnej misji Sojuz T-11 w ramach sowieckiego programu „Interkosmos”, zostając pierwszym obywatelem Indii, który poleciał w przestrzeń kosmiczną.

https://www.tygodnikpowszechny.pl/hinduskie-wartosci-w-kosmosie-155339

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Odp: Interview with Indian cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: Październik 02, 2018, 10:31 »
Rakesh Sharma: The making of a reluctant Indian space hero
By Soutik Biswas BBC News, Coonoor 14 March 2017


Rakesh Sharma is the only Indian to travel into space

Did you meet God?

This was a question Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian to travel into space, often faced from admirers at home after he returned to Earth in 1984.

"I would say, no, I hadn't met God," he says.

More than three decades later, fact and fiction blur easily with his modern-day fans when they meet Mr Sharma, 68.

"Now many young mothers introduce me to their kids and tell them, 'this uncle has been to the Moon!'".

But Mr Sharma can never forget the hysteria after he returned from space. He criss-crossed the country and lived in hotels and guest houses. He posed for pictures and gave speeches. Elderly women blessed him; fans tore his clothes and sought autographs. Politicians paraded him in their constituencies for votes; and authorities sent him on holiday to a national park in searing 45C (113F) temperatures.

"It was completely over the top. It left me irritated and tired. I had to keep a smile on my face all the time," he recounts.

Mr Sharma wears his achievements and fame lightly. He joined India's air force at 21 and began flying supersonic jet fighters. He had flown 21 missions in the 1971 war with Pakistan before his 23rd birthday. By 25, he was a test pilot. He travelled into space at 35, the first Indian and the 128th human to do so.

"I had pretty much done it all before I went into space. So when the opportunity came, I went along. It was that simple."


Mr Sharma spent eight days in a space station in 1984


Mr Sharma (middle) says the celebrations over his space journey were "over the top"

What is easily forgotten is that Mr Sharma's feat was possibly the only silver lining in what was one of independent India's worst years ever.

1984 saw the Indian army storm the Golden Temple in Punjab to flush out Sikh separatists and the revenge killing of prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards.

The anti-Sikh riots, the country's worst religious rioting after Partition, convulsed Delhi. And, before the year had ended, thousands of people in the city of Bhopal had been killed after toxic gases leaked from a chemical factory, the world's worst industrial accident.

In a wounded nation, a young pilot shone as an unlikely beacon of hope.

Mrs Gandhi was pushing for an Indian in space before the 1984 general elections, and dialled her closest ally and space race leader, the Soviet Union, for help. The latter asked for a list of candidates.

Locked in a room

Mr Sharma was picked to undergo a battery of gruelling tests from a reported shortlist of some 50 fighter pilots. Among other things, he was locked up by the air force in a room with artificial lights at an aerospace facility in Bangalore for 72 hours to test for "latent claustrophobia". In the end, two of them were selected for the final training in Russia.

More than a year before the launch, Mr Sharma and Ravish Malhotra travelled to Star City, a high-security cosmonaut-training facility some 70km (43 miles) from Moscow, to train for space flight as there were no such facilities at home.

It was bitterly cold. He trudged in the snow from one building to another - "It was very Dr Zhivago".

He had to learn Russian quickly as most of the training was in that language. Six to seven hours of language classes every day meant that he had mastered enough Russian in three months. He was put on a carefully controlled diet of local food, capped at 3,200 calories a day. Olympic trainers tested him for strength, speed and endurance, and how his chest stood up to punishing G-forces.


A Soviet rocket carried Mr Sharma and two Russian astronauts, Yuri Malyshev and Gennadi Strekalov


The three astronauts trained at a cosmonaut facility outside Moscow

Midway through the training, he was told he was the chosen one, and Mr Malhotra would serve as backup.

"It wasn't such a big deal, it wasn't very tough," says Mr Sharma, modestly.

But many, like science writer Pallava Bagla, believe Mr Sharma's feat was a "huge leap of faith".

"He came from a country which didn't have a space programme. He didn't dream of becoming an astronaut. But he travelled to an alien environment, endured a harsh climate, learnt a new language, and trained hard. He's a real hero."

On 3 April, a Soviet rocket carrying Mr Sharma and two Russian astronauts, Yuri Malyshev, 42, and Gennadi Strekalov, 43, left Earth from a spaceport in the then Soviet republic of Kazakhstan.

No sweat'

"The take-off was boringly routine. We were over-trained by that point," Mr Sharma recounts.

"I was the 128th human in space. So I didn't really sweat about it."

Mr Sharma is now among the more than 500 fortunate people who have travelled into space since Yuri Gagarin's single orbit of Earth in 1961.

The media gushed how the joint flight was the high noon of the Soviet Union-India friendship. Soviet news agency Tass filed a report saying Mr Sharma's mother, a teacher, had developed a "general interest" in the Soviet Union after her son was chosen for the flight in 1982. "The mission," says Mr Sharma, "was scientific in content, but with a political end at home."

Tragically, Mrs Gandhi would be murdered within eight months, and her son, Rajiv, would sweep the polls at the end of the year on a sympathy wave for his mother. The space flight wasn't needed to fetch votes for the ruling Congress party.


Indira Gandhi (middle) wanted to put an Indian in space before a general election

Mr Sharma and his fellow astronauts spent nearly eight days in space: grainy TV images from the time show the three men, in grey jumpsuits, floating around in the Salyut 7 space station, and conducting experiments.

He became the first human to practice yoga in space - using a harness to stop him from floating around - to find out whether it could better prepare crews adapt for the effects of gravity. He spoke to his family once on a live link with 2,500 people in the audience in a Moscow auditorium.

When Mrs Gandhi asked Mr Sharma, on a hazy live link, how India looked from space, he delivered a line in Hindi which would have easily become a viral tweet today.

"Sare Jahan Se Acha [The best in the world]", he said, quoting from a famous poem by Mohammad Iqbal, which he had recited every day in school after the national anthem.

"It was top of recall. There was nothing jingoistic about it. India does look so picturesque from space," Mr Sharma told me.


Rakesh Sharma retired as a test pilot with the Indian air force

"You've got this huge coastline, the lovely blue ocean on three sides. Then there are the dry plateaus, forests, river plains, golden sands of the desert. The majestic Himalayas looked purple because sunlight cannot get into the valleys. Then there were snow capped mountains. We've got everything."

Return to space

The New York Times presciently wrote that "India is not likely to have its own manned space programme for a long time, if ever, and Mr Sharma's flight may well be the last by an Indian for a long time." Thirty-three years later, Mr Sharma remains the only Indian to travel to space. (Indian-American astronaut Kalpana Chawla went into space decades later and and was one of the seven astronauts killed in the Columbia space shuttle disaster in 2003.)

India plans to put a citizen into space using an Indian rocket from Indian soil one day. It has already developed a space flight suit for potential astronauts, and successfully tested a crew module dummy flight in the atmosphere. But money is scarce, the home-made launch rocket has to be made flight-ready, astronauts have to be trained and launch facilities built or upgraded.

After his space flight, Mr Sharma returned to his life as a jet pilot. He flew Jaguars, and the India designed fighter jet Tejas. Then he switched gears, working as the chief operating officer of a Boston-based company which made software for manufacturing planes, tanks and submarines.

Eight years ago, the space hero retired and built himself his dream home, with sloping roofs, solar-heated bathrooms, harvested rainwater, handmade bricks excavated from the plot, and a sunlit study stacked with his favourite books and music. He lives with his interior designer wife, Madhu, and their pet dog, Kali. A Bollywood biopic is "in the works", with star Aamir Khan rumoured to play the astronaut.


Mr Sharma now lives a retired life in a hill station in southern India

Would you like to return to space again? I ask.

"I would love to," he says, looking out to the hills from his sprawling balcony.

"But this time I would like to go as a tourist and savour the beauty of Earth. There was too much work when I went up there."

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-39124828

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Odp: Interview with Indian cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma
« Odpowiedź #4 dnia: Październik 04, 2018, 06:48 »
Ракеш Шарма: многие в Индии и сегодня думают, что я летал на Луну

Сюжет: 50-летие первого полета человека в космос (48) 12.04.2011


© РИА Новости / Александр Моклецов

В День космонавтики первый индийский космонавт Ракеш Шарма поделился с РИА Новости своими мыслями о достижениях советских ученых и будущем космонавтики, и рассказал, что многие в Индии до сих пор считают, будто их соотечественник побывал на Луне.

Военный летчик Ракеш Шарма в 1984 году стал первым индийским космонавтом. В космос он попал на борту корабля "Союз". В День космонавтики Шарма поделился с РИА Новости своими мыслями о достижениях советских ученых и будущем космонавтики, и рассказал, что многие в Индии до сих пор считают, будто их соотечественник побывал на Луне.

- В десятку самым популярных запросов на сервисе YouTube на Ваше имя есть запрос "Ракеш Шарма луна". Это правда, что многие в Индии до сих пор считают, что вы побывали на Луне?

- Да, и мне до сих пор приходится их разочаровывать, говорить, что я там не был. Дело в том, что у Индии не было программы пилотируемых полетов, и в 1984 году вся страна ждала полета человека в космос. Телевизоры тоже были у немногих. Луна же – она поражает воображение. Луна имеет огромное значение в индийской культуре, астрологии. Кстати – мое имя Ракеш означает "повелитель ночи", то есть "Луна". Полагаю, что сегодня те, кто тогда был студентом и думал, что я побывал на Луне, пользуются интернетом и это именно их запрос - "Ракеш Шарма луна".

- На этой неделе вы отмечаете две даты: 11 апреля вы вернулись на Землю, а 12 апреля – Международный день космонавтики. Какой день для вас важнее? Как вы отметите эти даты?

- 11 апреля я вернулся на Землю, но я всегда буду помнить 12 апреля 1961 года. Тогда я учился в школе, и я помню душевное волнение от новости о полете Гагарина. Сегодня - самое подходящее время, чтобы задуматься о том, какой большой путь мы проделали за эти 50 лет, о способностях, которыми обладает человек. Сегодня следует также задуматься строительстве колоний в космосе, о том, как помочь нашей планете, которой вредит нынешнее отношение людей к ней.

- Насколько сложно было отправить человека в космос в 1961 году, когда не существовало многих технологий, которые доступны нам сегодня?

- Быть первым в какой-либо области – это всегда риск, даже после того, как ученые все рассчитали и сделали выводы. Не всегда эти выводы оказываются верными. В 60-е годы не все космические технологии были проверенными. Поэтому необходимо отдать должное советским ученым, которые смогли осуществить эту миссию, и Юрию Гагарину, который поверил в их способности. Аварии в СССР и в США в 60-х годах показали, что исследование космоса – вещь опасная, и многому предстоит научиться.

- Насколько важно международное сотрудничество в освоении космоса?

- Не всякая страна может потянуть независимую космическую программу. Освоение космоса стоит очень дорого, и стоимость превышает возможности любого государства. Поэтому сотрудничать надо. Надо помнить и о том, что ресурсы Земли ограничены.

- Вы слетали в космос на корабле "Союз". Индийская организация космических исследований (ИСРО) одно время изучала возможность совместной модернизации этого корабля и использования его в индийской пилотируемой программе, но затем отказалась от этой затеи. Как вы оцениваете "Союз", не устарел ли он?

- "Союз" доказал свою надежность. Сегодня этот корабль является единственным средством доставки людей на МКС. В "Союзе" используются отличные технологии.

Мне представляется верной стратегия России на модернизацию существующих технологий, доказавших свою надежность и безопасность. Как говорится, лучшее – враг хорошего. Думаю, Индия должна использовать именно такой эволюционный подход.

Когда ты перепрыгиваешь на новые технологии, ты снова оказываешься в зоне риска, сопряженного с исследованиями.

На пути к этому необходимо улучшать материалы, развивать базовые технологии. В США пошли по другому пути, и сейчас у них возникли проблемы, в том числе с финансированием новых разработок.

- Правительство Индии санкционировало проектные работы по запуску человека в космос, но окончательного решения так и не приняло. Насколько Индии вообще нужна программа пилотируемых полетов?

- Индия должна осуществить пилотируемый запуск. Я очень хотел бы увидеть полет индийского космонавта на орбиту. Мы не верим, что истинное исследование космоса возможно в беспилотном режиме. Исследовать может только человек.

При этом на нас не давит идеологический груз, который давил на СССР и США. Нам не надо ни с кем соревноваться. Задача ИСРО – просто работать на благо человека, и она хорошо справляется в этой задачей.

https://ria.ru/gagarin_analysis/20110412/363659274.html

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Odp: Interview with Indian cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma
« Odpowiedź #5 dnia: Październik 07, 2018, 08:45 »
Rakesh Sharma, the first and only Indian in space, wants to go back as a tourist
ROHINI SWAMY 16 August, 2018

The veteran Indian Air Force fighter pilot says he is excited about PM Modi’s announcement of plans to launch a desi crewed mission by 2022.

Bengaluru: India’s first man in space can’t wait to have company. Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma (retd), who flew into record books aboard a Russian mission in 1984, said he was excited about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of plans to send a crewed Indian mission to space by 2022.

“I was feeling lonely as I was the only Indian to have been to space. Now I will have somebody to share this responsibility,” he said.

Sharma, who is now 69 and living a quiet retired life amid the beautiful Nilgiris, said he was “very proud” of the fact that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was making brilliant breakthroughs in space technology.

It has been 57 years since the first human entered space — Yuri Gagarin of the erstwhile USSR — and more than 34 years since Sharma did. Over the years, the US and China have conducted successful crewed spaceflights, but India is yet to.

Sharma said it was never too late to attempt a mission this complex.

“The point of this (the ISRO mission) is that we have to do it by ourselves, as, like most cutting-edge technologies, this is not available off the shelf,” he said.

“You have to go find the money, the brain, the dedication to do it yourself. ISRO has reached the maturity where, from a technology standpoint, it is able to do this today. The government has challenged them (ISRO) and made funds available to take it to the next level,” he added.

“He (Modi) was alluding to the fact that we had to take a ride on somebody else’s technology to be launched from some other cosmodrome. It is not similar to being launched from you own country, with your own technology and with the efforts of your own scientists. There is a difference don’t you think?”

That proud moment

Sharma, the 125th human to visit space, also had an illustrious career as an Indian Air force (IAF) fighter pilot. Aged just 23, he flew 21 missions during the 1971 India-Pakistan war.

Talking about his space experience, Sharma said it felt very special to carry the Tricolour with him aboard the Soyuz T-11.

The flight was the result of Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev’s suggestion of a joint Indo-Soviet space mission in 1980. The Indian Air Force (IAF) was asked to shortlist two candidates (one of them as back-up), and Sharma and fellow Wing Commander Ravish Malhotra were picked from a list of 50 fighter pilots.

A gruelling training programme followed to prepare the pilots for the zero-gravity life. One of the tests involved the duo being locked up in a room with artificial lights for three days to gauge signs of ‘latent claustrophobia’.

After they passed this test, the two were sent to a high-security cosmonaut training facility in Moscow called Star City for the final leg of the exercise. They had to learn Russian, the language most instructions were in, and undergo Olympics-style training for endurance, speed, strength and adaptability.

Once the training was completed, Sharma was chosen for the flight, which took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in what is now Kazakhstan on 2 April, 1984.

The frenzy that greeted him on his return is still a fresh memory for Sharma, as are the questions that came his way. Someone asked him if he saw God, and when then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi sought to know how India looked from space, Sharma famously replied, Saare Jahaan Se Accha.

As a Russian astronaut is known as a cosmonaut, so their Indian colleagues will be referred to as ‘vyomanauts’ (vyom is Sanskrit for space). Sharma said he was envious of the current generation as they had the “chance to be agents of change and part of momentous changes”.

Asked if technological advancements had made training for the newer generation of astronauts easier, Sharma said the essence of the lesson remained the same.

“What has not changed very much is the challenge to adapt to zero gravity and the need to learn on the job,” he added.

‘No competition, just cooperation’

Speaking of India’s proposed space mission, which is currently being referred to as ‘Gaganyaan’, Sharma had a word of advice, even as he celebrated India’s approach to space exploration.

“Here is an opportunity to show that we can do it, do it well and our efforts should be to contribute to whatever end, and let that end be cooperative, not competitive, because competition has got us into conflicts,” he added.

“We have never been in the job of competing with other nations. Had we done that, we would never have run the space programme the way we have done today. What the US and the former Soviet Union did were ideological races, there was very little science out there,” he added.

“We did not follow them and did our own thing. We need to do it well and perhaps if we are able to forge a consensus in cooperative ventures, indicators are there that we can start colonising outer space. But it needs to be a collaborative effort,” Sharma said.

As the interview came to a close, ThePrint asked Sharma the obvious question: Did he want to go back to space, may be onboard the Gaganyaan?

“Of course. Why not?” he replied. “I would like to back as a tourist because, the last time around, I was too busy working and unable to take in the beauty. I would like to go back as a space tourist,” he added with a laugh.

https://theprint.in/culture/rakesh-sharma-the-only-indian-in-space-since-1984-wants-to-go-back-as-a-tourist/99572/

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Odp: Interview with Indian cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma
« Odpowiedź #6 dnia: Październik 07, 2018, 08:47 »
One-way ticket to Mars not for me: Rakesh Sharma
26th February 2018 , Last Updated: 26th February 2018 05:22 AM  By Ramzauva Chhakchhuak Express News Service

The first Indian citizen to go into space in 1984 talks about his life and space exploration, and hopes the biopic being made on him starring Shah Rukh Khan engages with the youth.


Rakesh Sharma delivered a lecture at International Institute of Information Technology on Saturday, where he said that it is human nature to explore

BENGALURU: From joining the Air Force at the age of 18, being part of the Indo-Pakistan War in 1971 as a pilot, and being the first and only Indian citizen to go to space, Rakesh Sharma has had a colourful life.However, one thing he wouldn’t like to do is buy a one-way ticket to Mars. Rakesh Sharma was in the city to deliver a lecture at the International Institute of Information Technology, Bengaluru, where CE caught up with him.

When asked if India could ever send another person to space or even to Mars soon, especially with the recent success of ISRO’s Mars mission, Rakesh told CE, “I think we are jumping the gun here. It does not happen like that. We need to take baby steps in this game. It will have to be somewhere nearer to our orbit first, the moon and longer duration flights. That’s how it should be, unless it’s one of those one-way ticket to Mars.”

While Rakesh has conveyed his interest to go to space again in many interviews, when asked if  he would like to be a part of this kind of Mars mission, he says, “I am not stupid.”He, however, believes that further exploration of space and habitation on Mars is inevitable, although there are a number of technological advancements that need to be achieved first. For one, he pointed, is the lack of speed in space travel. “We need to overcome this problem. Present speeds of 8km per second in space travel is just not good enough considering a person’s short lifespan. We need to travel faster at the speeds of light,” he says. 

Another good thing about the attention on manned missions to Mars, he says, is a fact that will pull the focus away from all the conflicts the world over. “When people look at the scale of the issues, the concerns on earth will be pale,” he adds. 

Talking about the bigger consciousness and discussions about space and space exploration among the public today, Rakesh says, “I think it’s a wonderful change. Humanity is never static. We are explorers by nature. It is in our DNA. We will explore our solar system before we go further.”

‘Missed hot bath in space’

What did the first Indian to go into space miss when he was around the Earth’s orbit for nearly eight days? A hot, comforting bath.  This was what Rakesh Sharma told an audience member when he was asked the question after delivering the lecture on Saturday.  “Up there, we had to make do with medical swabs. It was quite uncomfortable,” he adds.  Recalling his journey, he spoke about how his family went from being upper-middle class to refugees overnight, after the partition. “I did not realize the kind of sacrifice my parents made to send me to a  good school. Sports and physical activity were something that really interested me as a boy. I was always standing at the backbench. One of my teachers in class 7, who was very fond of me, told me that if I carried on like this, I would end up being employed as someone who stands outside a post office to lick stamps. This description really shook me up,” he says. About Shah Rukh Khan set to portray Sharma in a biopic, he says, “I’m hoping the movie will do a lot more than my little engagement with the youth. The whole idea is to share my journey — whether a movie or a book.”

http://www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2018/feb/26/one-way-ticket-to-mars-not-for-me-rakesh-sharma-1778899.html

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Odp: Interview with Indian cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma
« Odpowiedź #7 dnia: Październik 07, 2018, 08:51 »
An Interview With Rakesh Sharma, The First Indian Astronaut

The moon and stars have fascinated every human being, but only one in a billion Indians has gone close to them. Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian in space, tells us about his incredible journey.
By Arun Sharma

An Interview With Rakesh Sharma, The First Indian Astronaut



The only Indian to go into space, recipient of the Ashok Chakra and the Hero of the Soviet Union, Rakesh Sharma is a name that every Indian feels proud of. With a biopic on his life to be released soon, ParentCircle reached out to speak to Rakesh Sharma. Here are excerpts from the interview.

ParentCircle: It has been almost 34 years since you became the first Indian to travel into space on board Soyuz T11. How does it feel to be the only Indian to have accomplished this feat?

Rakesh Sharma: It has been unfortunate for the scientific community. I feel that my flight was before its time in the sense that our country’s space programme was not mature enough at that point to embark on a manned space programme. Hence the lack of continuity.

PC: Tell us how it happened — your journey from selection to finally making it aboard Soyuz?

RS: Well, the Indian Space Research Organisation was busy with its satellite programme and expressed a lack of interest. So, Mrs Indira Gandhi, who was the Prime Minister then, asked the Indian Air Force (IAF) next who jumped at the offer, and I got lucky!

PC: What was the reaction of your parents when they got to know that their son was going to be India’s first astronaut?

RS: Mixed, I guess. Pride on the one hand, naturally, and, concern on the other as I was going to be exposed to a lot of risk.

PC: How different was the experience of travelling in a rocket from that of flying a fighter aircraft?

RS: Vastly different. As the environment of space cannot be replicated on the earth, training, though essential, was restricted to procedures and exposure; so, it wasn’t experiential. Essentially, procedures were practised and the body trained to handle the expected rigours of space travel. The actual experience mostly came from ‘learning on the job’.

PC: Share with us your experience of the space mission. What are the things you did during those 21 hours 40 minutes in space?

RS: Actually, I was in space for about 190 hours. My day was packed with activities like setting up experiments, performing them, documenting the results; setting up the next experiment and so on. In between, I took time off for meals and interviews with dignitaries.

PC: ‘Rakesh Sharma landed on the moon’ – Why do you think this myth came into existence?

RS: The concept of space travel was relatively unknown in our country. My guess is that the person on the street brought up on ‘Chanda mama’ stories/songs just associated space with the moon. Plus, we get to ‘see’ the moon while space itself is a vast, dark, gravity-less vacuum with nothingness all around!

PC: What are the qualities that you would credit your success to?

RS: Being at the right place at the right time, being physically and mentally fit, being a qualified test pilot, having an open mind to try out something new, and being lucky to have made it.

PC: How did your parents influence your personality and your choice of career?

RS: By supporting my decision to join the IAF, not forcing me into a career of their choice, inculcating in me a sense of hard work and influencing me to strive to be the best, and making me realise my potential.

PC: As a parent, what were the qualities you wanted to instil in your children?

RS: To identify their passion and then let them follow it through, whatever that may be. Also, hard work and ethical conduct. And, I encouraged them to become thinking, inquisitive, empathetic, multi-dimensional individuals with varied interests.

PC: Your son, Kapil Sharma, is a successful film director. Your thoughts on how he decided to pursue a career in films rather than in space science…

RS: He had the freedom to choose his career. His school honed his sensibility towards the environment and he realised the power of films to send out messages on topics close to his heart. Similarly, my daughter trained as a musician, singer, song writer, textile designer and now, she is a behavioural science professional.

PC: A biopic based on your life is to be released soon. How does it feel to know that a movie is being made on your life? And, what do you expect to see in the movie being made on your life?

RS: I cannot talk much about it as it is in the works, and I have signed a nondisclosure agreement. Broadly, it will document my journey and the challenges that my family had to deal with along the way.

PC: You have been awarded the Ashok Chakra and the Hero of the Soviet Union. How does it feel to be the recipient of the highest honour from two countries?

RS: I feel humbled.

PC: “Saare jahan se accha Hindostan hamara” – your feelings when you uttered those famous lines in describing how our country appeared from space?

RS: I was being factual. Our country does look beautiful from space. And, being a patriotic Indian who is proud of our inclusive culture, I was also alluding to the fact that there is more to our country than just its looks!

https://www.parentcircle.com/article/an-interview-with-rakesh-sharma-the-first-indian-astronaut/

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Odp: Interview with Indian cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma
« Odpowiedź #8 dnia: Grudzień 17, 2018, 08:27 »
Rakesh Sharma, First Indian In Space, Gives 'Gaganyaan' A Thumbs-Up

Rakesh Sharma said the ambitious mission, which plans to send an Indian into space, is "a coming of age" and a "natural corollary" of every space programme.

All India | Reported by Pallava Bagla, Edited by Anuj Pant | Updated: August 15, 2018


Rakesh Sharma is the first Indian to venture into space, was part of USSR's space mission

NEW DELHI: The first Indian to venture into space, former Indian Air Force pilot Rakesh Sharma, today gave his thumbs up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's plan to have a national space mission by 2022. Rakesh Sharma said the ambitious mission, which plans to send an Indian into space, is "a coming of age" and a "natural corollary" of every space programme.

India will become the fourth nation after US, Russia and China to send a human to space, if the mission becomes successful.

"If we wish to improve our existence on Earth, we need to ensure that future ventures in outer space, ought to work for the greater good of humankind back on Earth" he said, adding that future ventures into outer space are "not, solely, for the benefit of one or another nation."

Astronaut Wing Commander (Retd) Rakesh Sharma was a part of Russia's (formerly the USSR) Soyuz T-11 space mission. The expedition was launched on April 2, 1984.


"India has always advanced in space science but we have decided that by 2022 when India completes 75 years of Independence, or before that, a son or daughter of India will go to space with a tricolor in their hands," PM Modi said in his speech at the Red Fort today

While many people of Indian origin have so far ventured into space, including late astronaut Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams, none have done so in an indigenous space mission.

Coined 'Gaganyaan', the 2022 space mission, according to ISRO chairman Dr K Sivan, will cost around Rs. 9,000 crore and will run on a "very, very tight schedule".

"But ISRO will do it," Dr Sivan added.

ISRO hopes to deploy its biggest rocket, the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark III (GSLV Mk III), to send three Indians into space from Sriharikota in the next few years.

"India has always advanced in space science but we have decided that by 2022 when India completes 75 years of Independence, or before that, a son or daughter of India will go to space with a tricolor in their hands," PM Modi said in his speech at the Red Fort today.

The plans in the "demonstration phase" includes undertaking two unmanned flights and one human flight using Indian technology to catapult a crew of three into a low earth orbit for 5-7 days.

ISRO has, until now, spent around Rs. 173 crore to develop critical technologies for human space flight. The first time a plan to launch an Indian to space was in 2008. That plan however, was put into a backburner as the economy and Indian rockets experienced setbacks.

https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/independence-day-2018-rakesh-sharma-first-indian-man-in-space-gives-india-manned-space-mission-gagan-1901004

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Odp: Interview with Indian cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma
« Odpowiedź #9 dnia: Kwiecień 26, 2019, 23:14 »
Rakesh Sharma on space exploration and technology
By DTE Staff Last Updated: Friday 26 April 2019

Wing Commander (retired) Rakesh Sharma recently completed 35 years of being the first Indian to have ever set foot in space. He talked to Down To Earth about the exhilarating moment, space exploration, humans as multi-planetary species, ISRO’s plan to send a humanoid to space and weaponisation of space in a four-part series

Earth’s resources not infinite, so space exploration natural
By Rakesh Sharma Last Updated: Thursday 18 April 2019


Rakesh Sharma with Russia's Yury Malyshev and Gennady Strekalov went to space on the Soyuz T-11. Photo; Youtube

April 2, 2019 was the 35th anniversary of my journey to space. I can’t forget the excitement and buildup which took place. The training was at an end and there we were in the capsule going through our check list, full of anticipation. We were looking forward to this out-of-this-world experience, which I had trained for.

In the launch sequence, which we had trained for in the centrifuge, the acceleration was extremely high and you kept getting pushed into the seat. The gravitational forces kept building up and suddenly from three, three and a half, we were down to zero gravity. And all this happened in about 500-odd seconds.

That itself was dramatic and then I saw Earth from space, it was a spectacular sight. Everybody was trying to find their countries first. We got to see India, which again was a beautiful sight because our country has got various features — a long coast line, the plains, forests, deserts each with its own colour and texture and finally the Himalayas.



Those eight days in space were humbling because you get to see the scale on which things are and the immense beauty that is out there and it becomes difficult to imagine that all of it was a cosmic accident. I have never seen such beautiful accidents. It was humbling because all of us, including our home planet, are just such a small part of the universe. That puts things into a very sharp perspective.

After I returned my entire life changed. Where ever I went, I was recognised. Time has passed, public memory is relatively short and my own appearance has changed so now I don’t have to hide as much I used to earlier.

About how there is a renewed interest in space exploration, I feel it’s a natural corollary to the human nature of being explorers. Civilisations started out of Africa and spread all over and then we looked at communication devices. We then built ships and we discovered more lands and that’s how we spread. Now, having seen all that there is to see on Earth, it’s natural that we start looking outwards for newer worlds to experience.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_EByiV_Vm8" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_EByiV_Vm8</a>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_EByiV_Vm8

We are well on our way of exhausting the limited resources that are available on Earth. Since they are not infinite, the compulsion is to look at an alternate habitation. Also, the human genome doesn’t have a backup if there is a cataclysmic event. Like in an asteroid hit the entire civilisation gets wiped out.

So, these are the factors that are driving space exploration. Earlier, man was a part of an ideological race which was taking place between the then Soviets and Americans. All that proved to the world that both sides were capable of returning with fists full of lunar soil, nothing more, because the technology was well before its time. And that’s why then nobody went back.

But now that we have advanced technologically, and we have reasons too, new opportunities are opening up. The private sector is also taking interest in it, starting from tourism, which is just another business vertical. I think we are at the crossroads of very exciting times.

(As told to Akshit Sangomla)

ISRO has realised Sarabhai’s vision of using space technology to help the common man
By Rakesh Sharma Last Updated: Friday 19 April 2019


Photo: Wikimedia Commons and Vijayendra Pratap Singh/CSE

The delay in formulation of the Gaganyaan Mission is not due to a deficit in conceptualisation. It is a question of prioritisation. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) was translating the vision of Vikram Sarabhai into reality and in that sense, the Indian space programme has been a very focused and relevant one for a developing nation, which, to begin with, one would have thought had no business to be in this kind of business.

But having gone there, the focus has been to leverage whatever gains we get through space technology for the common man which ISRO has done spectacularly well. Whether you look at connecting all of India — even the remotest parts; whether you look at satellite technology being leveraged for education, communication, television and telemedicine. So, it has impacted the life of the common man. Remote sensing has helped the economy. ISRO’s focus has been towards these things. And now that that vision has more or less translated successfully, ISRO is moving to the next level.

I am in contact with ISRO regarding Gaganyaan and the next missions. Whenever they need my opinion or expertise, they do call upon me. And whenever there are meetings where go-aheads are given or policies are made, I am there.

ISRO plans to use a humanoid robot to simulate human space travel in the Gaganyaan Mission. In my view, we will most certainly get enough information out of this simulation to do an actual mission with humans.

If you recall, when space exploration first started, there was a monkey which was sent up. Technology has moved ahead. You now have much better instrumentation. So, a humanoid which is bristling with sensors will give you a whole heap of data regarding the environment within the capsule and how it has performed during the entire flight. It is a good method to de- risk your first human launch.

During my time in space, I conducted three types of experiments. One was, of course, earth resources where we photographed the Indian landmass using a multispectral camera which was onboard the Soviet space station. That was one.

Then, there was material sciences. We tried to grow a crystal of silver and germanium. Unfortunately, we had a problem with the furnace which was up there in orbit at that time and on board the Salyut that used to keep malfunctioning. Had that experiment been successful, we could have come back with a sample of a material which would have been as strong as a metal but as transparent as glass.

The last experiment was on biomedicine. The doctors wanted to have a better idea of how human systems like the cardiovascular system and vestibular system perform when subjected to zero gravity.

There have been changes in the way these experiments are conducted now. The database of the earth resources experiment became a template against which when our own IRS satellites could compare when they went up later. The other experiments were in the realm of pure research and would be used as and when required. Perhaps, we will continue with some unfinished or some newer experiment in these or associated domains.

Gaganyaan can add more new knowledge to the experiments that I conducted. Its first focus should be anything which can help people back on Earth. And I guess because India has not brought out a doctrine or published a White Paper or has made its long-term plans known, one doesn’t really know what the end game is going to be like, what we are aspiring for.

Once that is clear, one can work backwards. And then draw the line on those dots as to what India should be doing and what kind of work we need to do first in near earth orbit. Because first, we have got to establish ourselves in the near earth orbit. Be able to get something fruitful out of that environment and perhaps later, but by then, we would have developed the expertise to be an equal partner in collaborative ventures while setting up habitations, initially on the Moon and later on Mars.

(As told to Akshit Sangomla)

If we can change our mindsets, let’s make a heaven here… Why go elsewhere?
By Rakesh Sharma Last Updated: Monday 22 April 2019



I think the Anti-satellite weapon (ASAT) test should not be viewed through the prism of weaponisation as such. It’s a defensive weapon, meant to protect our assets which are already there. So in that sense, it is not directed.

It isn’t as if we have an orbiting capability to take out targets on the ground. No, we are not in that business. So this is a defensive weapon. We would have been much better off if conflict hadn’t gone to outer space. But, I think it’s only going to become worse if we do not address the core issues.

We must, as a people, as humanity, understand as to why we are in this mess. Our economic model being what it is — the quarter on quarter growth which fuels consumption, which in turn fuels negative environmental impact. If we do not alter those basics, no matter where we go, we are going to do what we have done on Earth. That is protectionism.

Each country which has the capability will want to take advantage of another which does not. Like in Antarctica you have drawn lines and said this is my territory. You go up on the moon first again you will draw the lines. So, if somebody else finds something more valuable it will become the seed of conflict which has moved from Earth to Space. So, we need to fix our basic societal paradigm first.

Of course there are United Nations treaties on the peaceful uses of outer space just as there has been the Paris accord, but then somebody like United States of America President Donald Trump comes along and pulls out of it. So, it all depends on whether the United Nations is going to be a body that can actually make a difference in the future.

I mean, the infrastructure is there. But then what you do if realisation is not there. So the realisation has to come from us. It cannot be imposed. The treaty says whatever you discover in space, belongs to humanity. The treaty says that likewise about the oceans. Beyond your economic zone whatever is there is supposed to be for everybody. But is it?

I mean, your oil companies are going out and you know, causing oil spills where everybody gets hurt as a result of it. I am sorry, but environmental crimes must invite punishment. We haven’t reached there yet. We don’t have the spine to do that. I think the environmental cost of producing must reflect in the price of that product. The realisation that nothing comes for free, that we are a closed loop environment and we need to take care of the only home we will ever have can’t come from outside. You can set up as many bodies as you want, but it has to come from within, from education.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BalRv7B4S_k" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BalRv7B4S_k</a>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BalRv7B4S_k

Our mindsets have to change. And magazines such as Down To Earth could help in doing that.

As long as professionals keep going to space, they will try to do the best their profession demands of them. They are not going to be influencers. Yes, all of us astronauts have come back with a certain perspective, but we don’t make a difference to the politics of our individual countries.

Most of us give talks and share our experience. But as to how effective that is, I mean, we are so many billion people on this planet and there are only 500-plus astronauts up till now.

It’s going to take years before space flight becomes like civil aviation, and how many people will go? How will that sway the way they approach and perceive space? It will probably be as effective as poets writing about the Earth — people will look at it as entertainment. It doesn’t alter the mindsets of people.

I think the realisation can only come from within the home, education, school. Let us hope because this society needs to evolve, and how should a society evolve? What are the interventions required for that? Societal and behavioural scientists would probably be better equipped to answer that.

In terms of ethics, there is enough and more examples right here on Earth where we have defaulted on the wrong side of ethics.

This brings me back to living in harmony with nature —the nature over there (Mars) need not be the same as it exists here. So living in harmony is a concept, it’s an outlook.

If our mindsets have not changed, we are unlikely to behave differently. In fact if you remember when the early settlers went to America, it was the gun which spoke. So yeah, ethically that’s how it should be done but will it be done? I don’t know.

It will be done only if mindsets have changed. And if mindsets change, well then let’s make a heaven here itself. Why go elsewhere.

Humans will leave Earth not to explore, but to exploit
By Rakesh Sharma Last Updated: Friday 26 April 2019


Wing Commander (retired) Rakesh Sharma in conversation with Down To Earth. Photo: Srikant Chaudhary

Private sector enterprises will play a major role in getting this whole endeavour of going to space and it’s good as well as bad. Good because for this activity to scale up inputs from the private sector are required because scaling up is not easy within the public sector. I suspect that, going forward, exploration will still remain in the domain of governments but exploitation of space will probably pass on to the private sector.

Today, space is more of an asset, a resource rather than something we want to know about as explorers. But then you know, this is to be expected. Nobody ever explores just for the sake of tourism. When you explore, you want to know what all you can get out of that place and what are the assets which are hidden, maybe sub-soil, and what are the advantages of the environment and how can you derive benefit from it. So that is a natural corollary to exploration. The exploration, at least in our celestial neighbourhood, is more or less over since Mangalyaan has gone, Chandrayaan has gone.

We have got quite a few probes. There is a probe or two which has gone out of solar system. So we have pretty much mapped the territory where we would in the future like to operate. So now that that’s done, the time has now come to move out. But I think the more significant event which we are going to be seeing is that for the first time human civilisation is going to relocate. A part of it at least. Because this time we are going not to explore, we are going to exploit. We are going not to visit, we are going to inhabit. Because to realise the aims of exploitation, you have got to live there. You cannot commute. The distances are so much that you cannot do a Monday to Friday kind of a thing. It’s expensive.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh9pr5U7Pmc" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh9pr5U7Pmc</a>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh9pr5U7Pmc

Also, humans, in the far future, really don’t have to be a multi-planetary species. You can’t keep escaping places which are your natural habitat. The very idea of getting technologically advanced and not realising what’s your home planet that sustains life, makes you continue to destroy it. Having plundered it and destroyed it, we move off somewhere else and cause the same kind of mayhem in a different place. This is so regressive. So it doesn’t have to be like that.

Earth is the cradle of our civilisation but by all means go out. But that doesn’t mean you don’t respect and you don't live with the environment. I think we need to focus as much as much if not more in saving the environment and what we have because it is sustaining life. Instead, we are going to go to a place which is barren and we are going to face humongous technological challenges to replicate the kind of environment which is going to sustain life over there. And once you do start exploiting that place, you are going to leave it in a worse state than when you had occupied it. Unless you change the way you live, unless we realise that we have to live with the environment, we won’t understand that the environment is not for plundering. It is there to sustain life.

If given a choice between Moon and Mars about where humans should settle first, I will choose the Moon because that’s where we will need to cut our teeth. That’s where we will need to go. It would be a kind of a proof of concept. It’s closer, it’s approachable, we have been there before, we have got pretty good knowledge of what the moon is all about. There is evidence that there is water there. So it’s a lot more welcoming than Mars as presently.

(As told to Akshit Sangomla)

https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/science-technology/if-we-can-change-our-mindsets-let-s-make-a-heaven-here-why-go-elsewhere--64104