Renowned Indian professor and scientist Udupi Ramachandra Rao popularly known as “India’s Satellite Man” turns 89 today. And Google is celebrating his birthday with a Doodle to highlight the commendable work done by Professor Rao, who died in 2017.
Life of Udupi Ramachandra Rao
Born in Karnataka on 10th March 1932, Prof Rao started his work as a protégé of Dr Vikram Sarabhai, the father of India’s space program. After completing his doctorate, Prof Rao joined NASA as a professor and conducted experiments on Pioneer and Explorer space probes.
In 1966, Prof Rao returned to India to work on an extensive high energy astronomy program at the Physical Research Laboratory. In 1972, he spearheaded India’s satellite program. Also, he was instrumental in developing and supervising over 20 satellites including India’s first satellite – Aryabhata. In 1975, India launched its first satellite that transformed the rural landscape of the country by boosting communication and meteorological services.
His biggest contribution to the nation
Development of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) technology is the biggest contribution of Prof Rao in the field of space research. PSLV has launched over 250 satellites including Mangalyaan. Launched in 2013, Mangalyaan is the first interplanetary mission that orbits Mars today.
The country honored Prof Rao
In 2013, Prof Rao was inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame to honor all his work. Google says that his stellar technological advancements continue to be felt across the galaxy in its Doodle that features a picture of Prof Rao placing a satellite in the space.