In 1970 Sharma joined the Indian Air Force as a pilot. He flew 21 combat missions in a MiG-21 in the Bangladesh war of 1971. In 1982 he was selected as a cosmonaut for a joint Soviet-Indian spaceflight. On April 3, 1984, he flew on board Soyuz T-11 with two Soviet cosmonauts to the space station Salyut 7. There Sharma performed experiments that included photography of India from space and exercises to study the effects of yoga on the body during weightlessness.
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