IAS Association, Rajasthan organized talk ‘Mission Space’ with Wing Commander, Rakesh Sharma (AC) on their Facebook page. The session focused on the cosmonaut’s life, his career as an air force pilot, experience in space, women in science and much more. He was in conversation with IAS Literary Secretary, IAS Association, Rajasthan, Ms. Mugdha Sinha.
Talking about his opportunity to go into space, Wg. Cdr. Rakesh Sharma said that he underwent 18 months of training in Star City in Moscow. All technical studies, exams, crew interactions, simulator training were conducted in Russian. So, he had to learn the Russian language as a part of his training. It was a very tough journey but he held on because at the end of the struggle was the dream to travel to space.
He further said that gravity is a big difference in space. It affects one’s body physiologically. One can experience nausea and vertigo as a part of space sickness but the body does stabilize in 2-3 days. Working in space without gravity is much harder as everything has to be strapped down. All tasks must be carried out sequentially. A task that takes 30 minutes to do on Earth will take an hour to do in space. Eating habits in space are also different. Although one eats similar food like that on Earth, it is processed differently.
Sharing an inspirational message for women aspiring to pursue a career in technology, he said: “Do not think you are a woman when you are coming into the technology field. Gender bias has no room here. This is not an easy job so do not come thinking to make money come for the fulfillment of your passion and dreams. Choose something larger than yourself then only can you access your hidden talents. Do not let go of indigenous values and principles.”