Wg Cdr Rakesh Sharma remembered that his worst fear was to not let down the Indian Air Force and the country as he was wearing the flags on his shoulders.
As various economies of the world step-up efforts to generate more and more profits through maximising manufacturing, Cosmonaut and Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma, India’s first in space, said that we have become such a consumptive society that we are not bothered about the collateral effect of the consumption pattern. Speaking at a webinar conducted by the Kalam Centre, New Delhi, Ashoka Chakra awardee Wg Cdr Rakesh Sharma said that we need behavioural change as we are trying to live with an unsustainable lifestyle on a planet which has limited resources. He added that the load that the climate has to sustain to cleanse itself is fast approaching a point that our life on this planet has become unsustainable.
Pollution doesn’t respect national boundaries
Talking about the need to see the earth as one entity, Rakesh Sharma pointed out that manufacturers in various countries choose to operate in other countries where the environmental laws are less stringent, however, they fail to realise that the load has to be borne by the same planet. Citing an old incident about Myanmar forest fire, he added that the upper air circulation moved the smoke column away from Myanmar to neighbouring countries, which indicates that pollution does not respect national boundaries.
Further in the discussion, Hero of the Soviet Union, Rakesh Sharma further said that inhabiting another planet is a good opportunity as we do not have any backup for the human genome but first we should learn to live with sustainability on our own planet.
Moments before take-off for space
On being asked about the state of mind right before taking off for space, he recalled that he was full of curiosity and excitement but was completely focussed on a high concentration level. He remembered that his worst fear was to not let down the Indian Air Force and the country as he was wearing the flags on his shoulders.
How does India look from space?
Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma portrayed that the great thing about India is that it has a huge coastline, which is visible from space and gives a brilliant sight. During the orbit around the earth, India’s coastline is visible for around four minutes and seventeen times in a span of 24 hours. He added that no big cities are visible from space but if there is a long railway line in a desert or airplane flying over the ocean, it can be seen due to colour contrast and linearity.
How much sense does it make to allow private sectors to use ISRO’s facilities?
The first Indian to reach the space, Rakesh Sharma, praised the decision to allow private players to use ISRO’s facilities for their space research programmes. It is good that private sectors have been given access to ISRO’s facilities as it does not make sense that everyone is needed to replicate the facilities that are already there, Wg Cdr Rakesh Sharma told Samrat Sharma of Financial Express Online during the discussion. As far as the facilities are not being fully utilised, which is the case so far, it is wise to allow private players to use them and boost sustainability.