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Google celebrates India’s Satellite Man prof Rao on 89th birthday

Google Doodle celebrated the 89th birth anniversary of Udupi Ramachandra Rao, also known as India’s Satellite Man today. He supervised the 1975 launch of India’s first satellite, Aryabhata.

Google celebrated the 89th birth anniversary of Indian professor and scientist Udupi Ramachandra Rao today with an animated Doodle.

Remembered by many as India’s Satellite Man, Professor Rao died in July 2017. He was an Indian space scientist and chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro).

Professor Rao made contributions to the development of space technology in India and its extensive application to communications and remote sensing of natural resources.

Born in a remote village of Karnataka on this day in 1932, Prof. Rao began his career as a cosmic-ray physicist. He worked under Dr Vikram Sarabhai, a scientist widely regarded as the father of India’s space program.

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After completing his doctorate, he went to the US, where he worked as a professor and conducted experiments on NASA’s Pioneer and Explorer space probes.

Upon his return to India in 1966, he became a professor at the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, before spearheading India’s satellite program in 1972. He supervised the 1975 launch of India’s first satellite, Aryabhata along with over 18 satellites, that were designed and launched for providing communication, remote sensing and meteorological services.

He also accelerated the development of rocket technology as the Chairman of Space Commission and Secretary of the Department of Space, resulting in the successful launch of the ASLV rocket and the operational PSLV launch vehicle, which can launch a 2.0 ton class of satellites into polar orbit.

Professor Rao was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1976 and Padma Vibhushan in 2017. He also became the first Indian inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame in 2013. It was the same year that PSLV launched India’s first interplanetary mission Mangalyaan, a satellite that orbits Mars today.

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