PM condoles demise of former ISRO chief Professor Rao

Eminent Space Scientist UR Rao Dies At 85

Former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Udupi Ramachandra Rao or U.R. Rao passed away on Monday, July 24, at the age of 85 at this residence in Bengaluru. He has been involved in all ISRO missions till date, either directly or indirectly, including the first Indian satellite "Aryabhata". He was former ISRO Chief for 10 years.

UR Rao, as the 85-year-old was popular, is a globally-renowned space scientist, who occupied key positions in multiple global fora beside having occupied important positions in India-the most important one being chairman, Isro (1984-1994). He was 85 when he breathed his last at his Bengaluru residence.

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.

He also initiated the development of the Geo Stationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991.

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 took up the responsibility for the establishment of satellite technology in India in 1972, as Project Director- Indian Scientific Satellite Project. Being a holder of numerous National and global awards, the last award this great scientist received was the Padma Vibhushan in January 2017.

The Indian government early this year conferred the country's second highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan, on Rao, who was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1976.

Born in Adampur village in Udupi, Rao was associated with India's space programmes along with M G KMenon, Satish Dhawan and Vikram Sarabhai.

Condolences have been pouring in for the family from far and wide with many stating that his contribution to India's space research programme will never be forgotten.

"Rao was also inducted into the "Satellite Hall of Fame" at Washington on May 2013 by the "Society of Satellite Professionals International", an ISRO official said.

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