Science

UR Rao, ex-ISRO chief and eminent 'Space Scientist' dies at 85

UR Rao, ex-ISRO chief and eminent 'Space Scientist' dies at 85

Udupi Ramachandra Rao who is the former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman passed away.

Whether it was the launch of Aryabhata, or the success of the Ariane Passenger PayLoad Experiment (Apple), which was transported on a bullock cart, in 1981, or the initial failures of the SLV series of launchers and the PSLV's first flight, Rao was unfazed.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed grief over the death of former ISRO chief U.R. Rao.

The President said that Rao would be long remembered for his services to the nation in various capacities including chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Secretary in the Department of Space and Chancellor of the Indian Institute of Science and Technology at Thiruvananthapuram.

As officially confirmed Mr. Rao had been diagnosed with an age-related cardiovascular disease in the past and gave way to the sickness in the early hours of Monday, 24th July. Born in the year 1932 in Karnataka, Rao received his primary education at Adamaru.

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The two were given 20 minutes to discuss reasons for the failure of the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle (ASLV), which failed in its first two attempts to launch.

Rao also co-authored a paper with eminent scientist Dr. Arthur Clarke-who was on the Satellite Hall of Fame-on colonizing Mars, at least a decade ago.

He was awarded the Padma Bhushan - the third highest civilian award - by the Indian government in 1976 for his contribution to Indian space technology.

On returning to India in 1966, Rao joined PRL in Ahmedabad as a professor under the guidance of Vikram Sarabhai, architect of the Indian space science, and shifted to Bengaluru to work as a space scientist at ISRO's satellite centre in 1972. And he was awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2017.

An internationally acclaimed space scientist, Rao was credited for his original contributions to the development of space technology in India and its extensive application to communications and remote sensing of natural resources. Mr.Rao inducted the "IAF Hall of Fame" in Mexico's Guadalajara.