He was the man behind the launching of India’s first satellite ‘Aryabhatta‘ in 1975. He was the visionary of the Mars Orbiter Mission. He was the man who fostered the development and progress of Indian Space Research. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1976 and Padma Vibhushan in 2017. Do you know who he was?
He was an eminent space scientist and former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman, Udupi Ramachandra Rao. He served as the Chairman of ISRO for 10 years. He was presently serving as the Chairman of the governing council of the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad. He was also the chancellor of the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram. He was a recipient of D.Sc from over 26 universities.
But, why all his achievements are being addressed as ‘was’ and not ‘is’? It is because he passed away today in Bangalore in the wee hours due to age related ailments. He was 85 years of age and popular among the masses as Prof. U R Rao. It is an important day to get inspired from him and give many such scientists to India.
It is time that many more successful space shuttles are launched from India. I hope and believe the coming years have many more Prof. Rao(s) born in India.