Udupi Ramachandra Rao
U R Rao (cropped).jpg
Rao circa 2008
Born(1932-03-10)10 March 1932
Died24 July 2017(2017-07-24) (aged 85)
Alma mater
Known forIndian Space Program
Spouse(s)Yashoda Rao
Awards
Scientific career
FieldsSpace science and Satellite Technology
Institutions
Doctoral advisorVikram Sarabhai
Udupi Ramachandra Rao
Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation
In office
1984 (1984)–1994 (1994)
Preceded bySatish Dhawan
Succeeded byKrishnaswamy Kasturirangan

Udupi Ramachandra Rao (10 March 1932 – 24 July 2017) was an Indian space scientist and chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation.[1] 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.[2] He is known as "The Satellite Man of India". He pioneered India's first satellite launch Aryabhata in 1975.

Rao was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 1976, and Padma Vibhushan in 2017.[3] 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.[4][5] He was also to be inducted in International Astronautics Federation (IAF) on 15 May 2016. He was again the first Indian to achieve such a feat.[6]

Early life

U. R. Rao was born into a Madhwa Brahmin Hindu family at Adamaru in the state of Karnataka. His parents were Lakshminarayana Acharya and Krishnaveni Amma. He had his primary education at Adamaru. He completed his secondary education from Christian High School, Udupi. He completed his B.Sc. in Government Arts and Science College, Anantpur, M.Sc. from Banaras Hindu University and Ph.D. at Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad under the guidance of Vikram Sarabhai.[7]

Education

After working as a faculty member at MIT and Assistant Professor at University of Texas at Dallas where he carried out investigations as a prime experimenter on a number of Pioneer and Explorer spacecraft,[9] Rao returned to India in 1966 as a professor at the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad.[9][7]

Career

Rao started his career as a cosmic ray scientist and worked under Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, which he continued at MIT. In association with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory group, he was the first to establish the continuous nature of the solar wind and its effect on geomagnetism using Mariner 2 observations. Rao's experiments on a number of Pioneer and Explorer spacecraft led to a complete understanding of the solar cosmic-ray phenomena and the electromagnetic state of the interplanetary space. Convinced of the imperative need to use space technology for rapid development, Rao undertook the responsibility for the establishment of satellite technology in India in 1972.[10] 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.

As Chairman of ISRO

After taking charge as Chairman, Space Commission and Secretary, Department of Space in 1985, Rao accelerated the development of rocket technology [11] resulting in the successful launch of ASLV rocket in 1992. He was also responsible for the development of the operational PSLV launch vehicle, which successfully launched an 850 kg. satellite into a polar orbit in 1995. Rao initiated the development of the geostationary launch vehicle GSLV and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991. He was responsible for successful launch of INSAT satellites during his stint at ISRO. The launch of INSAT satellites gave a thrust to communications in India, during the 1980s and 1990s. The successful launch of INSAT provided telecommunication links to remote corners of India. During these decades fixed telephone (called as landline) expanded throughout country due to availability of satellite links at different places in the ground. People could talk easily from anywhere by use of STD (Subscriber Trunk Dialing) instead of waiting for hours to get the connection.((citation needed|date=April 2013)) This development played a key role in future for India to develop as an Information Technology hub. He was the first Chairman of Antrix Corporation. He received the Padma Bhushan in 1976. He was the first Indian Space Scientist to be allowed into the Prestigious “Satellite Hall of Fame” at Washington DC, USA in recent past on March 19, 2013.

Additional responsibilities

Rao was an elected Fellow of many academies such as Indian Academy of Sciences, Indian National Science Academy, National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Electronics and Telecommunications Engineers, International Academy of Astronautics and Third World Academy of Sciences. Rao was conferred Fellowship of the World Academy of Arts & Sciences. He was the General President of the Indian Science Congress Association for 1995-96. Rao was the Vice President of International Astronautical Federation (IAF) during 1984 to 1992 and continues to be the Chairman of the Committee for Liaison with Developing Countries (CLIODN) since 1986. Rao was elected as the Chairman of United Nations - Committee On Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS) in June 1997 and also Chairman of UNISPACE-III Conference. He was elected as the Chairman of the 30th International Antarctic Treaty Consultative Committee Meeting at Delhi in April 2007.

He was the Co-Chairman of the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Goa.[12] He was the first chairman of Prasar Bharati.[13] Rao was the Fourth President of the Governing Body of the Centre for Space Physics in 2007. While the President, he changed its name to Indian Centre for Space Physics in recognition to its National importance.[14]

Other positions held by Rao in India include :

Awards

He was the recipient of many national and international awards, such as :[15][16]

National Awards
International Awards

Honours

People's President and distinguished scientist Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam had an effective association with Prof. U. R. Rao. While Dr. A.P. J. Abdul Kalam was President, he presented the Life Time Achievement Award constituted by ISRO and Astronautical Society of India (ASI) to Prof. Rao for his outstanding contribution to the organization.

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D. Litt. (Hon. Causa) from Kannada University, Hampi

D.Sc (Hons. Causa) from the Universities of:

Legacy

On March 10, 2021, a Google Doodle was made in honor of his 89th birthday.[30]

Fellowships / Memberships

Professional Activities in International Arena

Other roles

Books authored

References

  1. ^ "The Hindu : DD to improve quality of programmes". www.hinduonnet.com. Archived from the original on 20 August 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ "Indian space pioneer Udupi Ramachandra Rao passes away". The Hindu. 24 July 2017. Archived from the original on 24 July 2017. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  3. ^ "List of Padma awardees 2017". The Hindu. 25 January 2017. Archived from the original on 27 January 2017. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b "U.R. Rao inducted into Satellite Hall of Fame". The Hindu. 29 March 2013. Archived from the original on 1 April 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  5. ^ a b "SSPI Announces the 2013 Satellite Hall of Fame Inductees". Society of Satellite Professionals International. Archived from the original on 15 April 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  6. ^ a b "Prof U R Rao inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame, Washington" (Press release). isro.org. 28 March 2013. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  7. ^ a b Prof. U. R. Rao was married to Mrs. Yashoda Rao. "India's Pioneer Space Scientist – Professor Udupi Ramachandra Rao". karnataka.com. 17 November 2011. Archived from the original on 2 April 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  8. ^ "Prof. Udupi Ramachandra Rao - Biodata". ISRO. Archived from the original on 16 August 2009. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Prof. Udupi Ramachandra Rao (1984-1994) - ISRO". Department of Space, Indian Space Research Organisation (www.isro.gov.in). Archived from the original on 8 March 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Indian Fellow". Indian National Science Academy. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2014.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Morale of space scientists hit, says U.R. Rao". The Hindu. Bangalore, India. 28 January 2012. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  13. ^ a b "Space scientist gets Media Academy award". The Times of India. Bangalore, India. 27 November 2004. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013.
  14. ^ "Prof. Udupi Ramachandra Rao (1984-1994) - ISRO".
  15. ^ "Prof. Udupi Ramachandra Rao - Awards Honours". ISRO. Archived from the original on 11 February 2013. Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  16. ^ "PANDIT GOVIND BALLABH PANT MEMORIAL LECTURE - IV" (PDF). Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  17. ^ "Handbook of SHANTI SWARUP BHATNAGAR Prize winners(1958 - 1998)" (PDF). HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT GROUP - COUNCIL OF SCIENTIFIC & INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH. 1999. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  18. ^ a b "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  19. ^ "Award winners - Electronic Sciences & Technology". Vasvik Foundation. Archived from the original on 29 March 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  20. ^ "SHRI OM PRAKASH BHASIN AWARDS". Om Prakash Bhasin Foundation. Archived from the original on 4 March 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  21. ^ "Past Award Winners". Electronic Industries Association of India. Archived from the original on 31 August 2012. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  22. ^ "Narendra Rai bags Yudhvir award". The Hindu. Hyderabad, India. 28 April 2004. Archived from the original on 14 January 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  23. ^ "Gujar Mal Modi Award for Science & Technology". International Institute of Fine Arts. Archived from the original on 11 July 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  24. ^ "LIFE TIME CONTRIBUTION AWARD IN ENGINEERING". Indian National Academy of Engineering. Archived from the original on 28 January 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  25. ^ "Scientists exhorted to have social sensitivity". The Hindu. Tirupati, India. 24 September 2005. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013.
  26. ^ "Award for U R Rao". Deccan Herald. Bangalore, India. 25 December 2007. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013.
  27. ^ "Award for U.R. Rao". The Hindu. Bangalore, India. 17 April 2008. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2013.
  28. ^ a b c "PROFESSOR U.R.RAO IS TO PRESIDE OVER THE PLENARY SESSIONS OF UNISPACE III". UNISPACE III - United Nations. Archived from the original on 11 January 2014. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  29. ^ "U.R. Rao among 'top 10 personalities'". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 1 September 2004. Archived from the original on 15 December 2004. Retrieved 21 June 2013.
  30. ^ "Prof. Udupi Ramachandra Rao's 89th Birthday". Google. 10 March 2021.
Government offices Preceded bySatish Dhawan ISRO Chairman 1984 - 1994 Succeeded byK Kasturirangan