IAF pilot Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma was selected for the space flight aboard Russian spacecraft Soyuz T-11. The joint Indo-Soviet manned space flight was launched on 3 April 1984 at 1830 hrs (IST) from Baikanour Cosmodrome. Rakesh Sharma, Soviet cosmonauts Yuri Malyshev and Gennady Strekalov were in space for eight days and they touched down on 11 April 1984 at Arkalik, about 600 km from Baikanour. Rakesh Sharma was later awarded the Ashok Chakra.