The first Indian in space , Rakesh Sharma was born on 13 January 1949 in Patiala , Punjab to Hindu Gaur parents . His early education was at St.George’s grammar school , Hyderabad , India . He was admitted to the National Defense Academy as an air force plebe in July 1956 . A focused and a dedicated student, he was commissioned into the IAF( Indian Air Force) in 1970 to become a pilot . Sharma rapidly progressed through the ranks . In 1971 , Rakesh Sharma flew the Mikoyan-Gurabich a Russian jet .The same year war broke out . During the 1971 War, Sharma flew missions in his MiG aircraft with considerable success. He was a squadron leader with the Indian Air Force, when he flew into space in 1984 as part of a joint programme between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Soviet Intercosmos space program. He spent eight days in space on board the Salyut 7 space station. Rakesh Sharma joined 2 other Soviet cosmonauts aboard the Soyuz T-11 spacecraft which blasted off on April 2, 1984.The Soyuz T-11 docked and transfered the three member Soviet-Indian international crew which also included the Ship’s Commander Y.V. Malyshev and Flight Engineer G.M. Strekalov (USSR) to the SALYUT-7 Orbital Station . Rakesh Sharma was conferred with the honor of hero of soviet union upon his return from space . The Indian Government awarded Rakesh Sharma and the other two soviet members of his mission with the ‘Ashok Chakra’ . He joined the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited in 1987 after retiring with the rank of wing commander . Rakesh Sharma served as a chief test pilot in the H.A.L Nasik division until 1992 . Thereafter , he moved to Banglore and worked as a chief test pilot of H.A.L . Sharma retired from test flying in 2001 . Currently Rakesh Sharma is the chairperson for the Automated Workflow.