Photo exhibition inaugurated in Chennai to mark 40th anniversary of first Indian cosmonaut flight

Apr 03, 2024

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], April 3 : The photo exhibition on "The 40 years of the first flight of an Indian cosmonaut" was inaugurated at the Russian House in Chennai.

As part of the celebration of space exploration and international collaboration, the Russian House in Chennai, in partnership with the Russian news agency TASS, inaugurated a photo exhibition "The 40 Years of the first flight of an Indian cosmonaut."

On April 3, 1984, Rakesh Sharma became the first Indian to go into space as a member of a joint Soviet-Indian crew on the Soyuz T-11 spacecraft. He spent a week working at the Salyut-7 Orbital Station.
Murthy Remilla, Head, Project Management, Human Spaceflight Group, Gaganyaan Programme of India, URSC, ISRO, Jayakumar Venkatesan, CEO and Human Spaceflight Researcher, Harpy Aerospace, India, IK Lenin Tamilkovan, Executive Director, Tamilnadu Science and Technology Centre Chennai, Oleg N Avdeev, Consul General of the Russian Federation in Chennai participated in the event.
The event was not just a celebration of Rakesh Sharma's historic flight but also a symbol of the enduring friendship and cooperation between India and Russia in the realm of space exploration. The exhibition for visitors opened from April 3 to April 18 at the Russian House in Chennai.
Following the inauguration of the photo exhibition, there was a screening of the first Russian movie filmed in space, "Challenge". This is the first film to be shot on the International Space Station. The film follows a doctor who flies to the ISS on short notice to give life-saving care to a cosmonaut.
Jayakumar Venkatesan, CEO and Human Spaceflight Researcher, Harpy Aerospace, India, said,
"I'm actually a part of kind of human spaceflight research activities, like I was, witnessed the world's first living tissue has been experimented in the International Space Station. That was developed by Russians, like 3D bioprinting solutions in Russia. So that was, one of the best experiments that happened in 2018.
"And we are, you know, like, involved with many students' activity, mostly. do some microgravity research activities and supporting the university students take part as an internship and also develop some scientific missions. So, this is how we can help together," he added.
Oleg N Avdeev, Consul General of Russia in Chennai, said that an exhibition was inaugurated that commemorates the first flight into space by an Indian spaceman Rakesh Sharma. He said that the event was a milestone in bilateral cooperation between India and Russia.

In an interview with ANI, Avdeev said, said, "Today, at the Russian Cultural Center in Chennai, an exhibition was inaugurated which commemorates the first flight into space by an Indian spaceman, Rakesh Sharma. This significant event, which was really a milestone in space exploration by India and also a milestone in bilateral cooperation. This event took place 40 years ago, exactly on this day, 40 years ago. And it was a very significant event for everyone, both in Russia and in India."
"And the memory of this event remains with us for many decades. And now India has made a lot of steps into space exploration. And the first manned flight is being ready now. And four Indian spacemen got training in the Gagarin Russian Space Center in Russia for coping with weightlessness and stress during the space flight. So, they have come back. That is another example of bilateral cooperation in space exploration and this cooperation will go on. There is no doubt about that. And there will be more achievements by the Indian space science and space research and we are very much willing to cooperate in this area of collaboration between the two countries," he added.
He noted that the exhibition will remain open for two weeks and people can trace back the history of the first flight by Indian spaceman into space. He said that the exhibition will be interesting for the younger generation who have interest in space science.
Oleg N Avdeev said, "This exhibition will remain open for a fortnight, for another two weeks, and it will be open for everyone. Everyone can come here and trace back the history of the very first flight by Indian spaceman into space. So the exhibition will stay for two weeks and it will be opened in a few cities in India, altogether there are five cities in India, including New Delhi, where the exhibition will be inaugurated today."
"So, this is the first inauguration, more inaugurations, others will follow in the course of this day. So, a lot of people in India will have a chance to see it, especially I think it will be interesting for the younger generation who takes much interest in space science, and we see that a lot of students from various colleges, from Hindustan College, from MGR College, a lot of students have come, those students who take keen interest in space research, and I do hope this exhibition will encourage them to become space scientists," he added.
Speaking about the 'Challenge' movie, he said, "As I told, a bonus to this exhibition is a movie. In Russian, it is called ..., which can be translated into English as a challenge. So this is the very first movie in the history of cinematography which was made in outer space. The two Russian actors went to the International Space Station and were featured in this movie."
"And that is also an achievement of sorts, because the very first example film made in outer space in weightlessness. You just understand how difficult it is for actors to act in weightlessness. So, they should get used to it. Of course, they needed some training before they go, but weightlessness is itself a challenge for them. And how they coped with this challenge one can see in this film," he added.