The real reason was publicised last week to rekindle Russian pride...and the real reason for picking him ahead of the five other candidates that were being considered...
it was the fact that he took his shoes off when climbing into a prototype of the craft for a look around.
Touched by such a show of respect, the head of the space exploration programme, Sergei Korolev, decided that Gagarin should be the man for the historic 108 minute flight into space in April 1961.
Well, looks like a show of respect will get you to the heavens ! Now considering that this concept has been around in India for centuries, what did Rakesh Sharma have to do to prove his credentials - I mean, almost all of the Indian wannabes would have shown their respect...wouldn't they ?