Born in Gyulaháza, he graduated from the George Kilián Aeronautical College in Szolnok in 1969. He then attended the Krasnodar Military Aviation Institute in the Soviet Union, from where he graduated in 1971.
After earning his qualifications at University, Farkas joined the Hungarian Air Force and rose to the rank of Brigadier General. In 1978 he volunteered to become a cosmonaut and was selected as part of the fifth international programme for Intercosmos. His backup cosmonaut was Béla Magyari.
While in orbit, Farkas conducted experiments in material science. After 7 days, 20 hours and 45 minutes, and having completed 124 orbits, Farkas and Kubasov returned to Earth, landing 140 km southeast of Dzheskasgan. Bertalan Farkas was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union on June 30 1980
Farkas is married to Anikó Farkas, and has three children: Aida, Ádám and Bertalan. He loves football and plays it often.