Updated on: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 04:50 AM IST

Udupi Ramachandra Rao passes away, 10 things you must know about the eminent space scientist


Eminent space scientist and former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman Udupi Ramachandra Rao passed away here in the wee hours today due to age related ailments. He was suffering from age related ailments and breathed his last at his residence. Rao is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.

“Rao breathed his last during the early hours, around 3 AM today,” ISRO Public Relations Director Deviprasad Karnik told PTI.

Expressing grief over his death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Rao’s contribution to India’s space research will always be remembered.


“Saddened by the demise of renowned scientist, Professor U.R. Rao. His remarkable contribution to India’s space programme will never be forgotten,” Modi said in a tweet.

Things you need to know about Udupi Ramachandra Rao:

  1. Udupi Ramachandra Rao was a space scientist and the former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation.
  2. He was the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad and Nehru Planetarium at Bengaluru and chancellor of Indian Institute for Space Science and Technology (IIST) at Thiruvananthapuram.
  3. Born at Adamaru in Karnataka State on 10 March 1932, he is also the recipient of D.Sc (Hon. Causa) Degree from over 25 universities, including the University of Bologna, the oldest University in Europe.
  4. After taking charge as Chairman, Space Commission and Secretary, Department of Space in 1985, Rao accelerated the development of rocket technology resulting in the successful launch of ASLV rocket in 1992.
  5. Rao played a key role in the launch of India’s first satellite Aryabhatta in 1975.
  6. 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.
  7. He was also credited to be the brain behind what science needs to be done using Chandrayaan-1(India’s first lunar probe) and Mangalyaan, which is country’s first mission to Mars.
  8. He became the first Indian to be inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame, Washington on 19 March 2013 at a ceremony organised by the Society of Satellite Professionals International.
  9. Rao has published more than 350 scientific and technical papers covering cosmic rays, interplanetary physics, high energy astronomy, space applications and satellite and rocket technology and authored many books.
  10. Rao also became the first Indian space scientist to be inducted into the prestigious ‘Satellite Hall of Fame’ in Washington DC on March 19, 2013, and the ‘IAF Hall of Fame’ in Mexico’s Guadalajara.

(Inputs PTI and IANS)

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Published on: Monday, July 24, 2017, 11:25 AM IST