Google Doodle today celebrates the 89th birthday of Indian professor and scientist Udupi Ramachandra Rao, under whose guidance, the first Indian satellite ‘Aryabhata’ was launched in 1975. He helped design and launch over 18 satellites for advancing India’s communication, and meteorological services.
Scientist U.R. Rao. File Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy
He was the fourth Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) during its critical formative years between 1984 and 1994. He boosted the development of rocket technology leading to the successful launch of the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV) and the operational Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
Prof. Rao also initiated the development of the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991.
He had published over 350 scientific and technical papers and authored many books.
He was the recipient of many national and international awards. He was awarded ‘Padma Bhushan’ in 1976 and ‘Padma Vibhushan’ in 2017.
Prof. U.R. Rao became the first Indian Space Scientist to be inducted into the “Satellite Hall of Fame” at Washington DC, the U.S. in 2013. He also became the first Indian Space Scientist to be inducted into the “IAF Hall of Fame” in Mexico.