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Udupi Ramachandra Rao

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Udupi Ramachandra Rao

Born: 10 March 1932

Died: 24 July 2017

  • He was a space scientist and chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation.
  • He was also the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad and Nehru Planetarium at Bengaluru and chancellor of the Indian Institute for Space Science and Technology (IIST) at Thiruvananthapuram.
  • He is affectionately called ‘Satellite man of India’.
  • He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 1976, and Padma Vibhushan in 2017.
  • He was inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame, Washington, on 19 March 2013 at a ceremony organised by the Society of Satellite Professionals International.
  • With this he became the first Indian to be inducted.
  • He was also to be inducted in International Astronautics Federation (IAF) as on 15 May 2016. He was also the first Indian again to achieve such a feat.
  • He was the first to establish the continuous nature of the solar wind and its effect on geomagnetism using Mariner 2 observations.
  • Under his guidance, beginning with the first Indian satellite “Aryabhata” in 1975, over 18 satellites including Bhaskara, APPLE, Rohini, INSAT-1 and INSAT-2 series of multipurpose satellites and the IRS-1A and IRS-1B remote sensing satellites were designed, fabricated and launched for providing communication, remote sensing and meteorological services.

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