RIP UR Rao, Thank You for Giving India the Aryabhata

Space scientist Udupi Ramachandra Rao passed away in Bengaluru early on 24 July. He was 85.

The former ISRO chairman was the man behind the launch of the Aryabhata, India’s first satellite, that was sent to space on 19 April 1975. The satellite was launched with a Russian rocket and spent 17 years in space. It was named after famous mathematician Aryabhata.

During his tenure at ISRO, over 18 satellites were designed and launched for providing communication, remote sensing and meteorological services. The ISRO website credits him with accelerating the development of rocket technology and initiating the development of the geostationary launch vehicle GSLV and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991.

Prof Rao was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 2017 and the Padma Bhushan in 1976.

A man of many first, he was the first Indian space scientist to be inducted into the ’Satellite Hall of Fame’ at Washington DC, USA on 19 March 2013. He is also the first Indian space researcher to be inducted into the IAF Hall of Fame at Guadalajara, Mexico, as per ISRO records.

Video Editor: Hitesh Singh

(This video was first published on 19 April 2017 to commemorate the launch of the Aryabhata. It is being reposted from The Quint’s archives to mark the death of Udupi Ramachandra Rao.)

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