PALA: “It’s a dream come true,” said Sathosh George Kulangara, who is slated to be India’s first space tourist. “I was a school student when the first Indian cosmonaut went to space and he was a superman for us students. People like me dreamt of meeting him one day,” he said, pointing to the ‘superman’ himself. Rakesh Sharma, India’s first space traveller was here to inaugurate the Knowledge Village being opened by the Labour India Group.
“He has inspired me; now I feel charged,” Mr Kulangara said. Interacting with mediapersons, Mr. Sharma said the space travel he undertook was much different from the one being taken out by Mr Kulangara. According to him, the space will remain one of the hottest destinations for decades to come. “It is a place we have got to learn a lot about. Much of the action is going to take place there in the coming 30 or 40 years,” he said.
Mr Sharma believed that it would take some time for space tourism to mature. The basic thing was the affordability: it will take some more time to make it affordable to the common man. The more important issue will be that of safety norms. According to him, space tourism would come of age only after it reaches a reasonable safety level.
“The pioneer is sitting beside me. He has also promised to bring back the visuals of the space and the travel, back to the people,” Mr Sharma said. According to Mr. Kulangara, his interactions with Mr Sharma were highly educative. They shared their zero gravity and G tolerance experiences.
“He also gave me tips about how to photograph the outside pictures and also about the way one could get a better view of space,” Mr Kulangara said.