It is the 89th birth anniversary of the great scientist behind India's first satellite ‘Aryabhata,' Prof. Udupi Ramachandra Rao. Remembered by many as India's ‘Satellite Man,' Professor Rao was an Indian space scientist and chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). On his birth anniversary, search engine giant, Google dedicated a doodle that shows an animated Prof Rao holding the satellite ‘Aryabhata,' which is one of the ‘O' in Google. The background has animated planet Earth, with shooting stars above. The picture of today's March 10, 2021 Google Doodle showcase the Indian scientist whose contribution in the science advancement is hugely revered.
Prof Rao was born in a remote village of Karnataka on March 10, 1932, and he started his career as a cosmic-ray physicist and protégé of Dr Vikram Sarabhai, a scientist widely regarded as the father of India's space program. After finishing his doctorate, Rao took his talents to the US, where he worked as a professor and conducted experiments on NASA's Pioneer and Explorer space probes. Convinced of the imperative need to use space technology for rapid development, Rao undertook the responsibility to establish satellite technology in India in 1972.
Prof Rao supervised the 1975 launch of India's first satellite, ‘Aryabhata,' one of over 20 satellites he developed that transformed much of rural India by advancing communication and meteorological services. His contribution to the space programs is significantly honoured, and Google's doodle rightly featured an animated Prof Rao, holding the satellite, ‘Aryabhata,' with the planet Earth as his background and shooting stars.
From 1984 to 1994; Prof Rao continued to propel the country's space program to stratospheric heights as a chairman of India's Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He developed rocket technology such as the Polar Satellite Launch (PSLV), which has launched over 250 satellites. In 2013, PSLV launched India's first interplanetary mission, ‘Mangalyaan,' a satellite that orbits Mars today. His contribution to India's space missions and technological advancements continues to be revered across the world.
(The above story first appeared on Morning Tidings on Mar 10, 2021 08:40 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website morningtidings.com).