Former ISRO Chairman and Space Secretary, Professor U R Rao, has passed away. He was 85. He died at his residence in Bengaluru, a PTI report said. Rao was an internationally-renowned space scientist and had received many honours and awards, including the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan. Rao published over 360 scientific and technical papers in various journals, the report says. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Rao’s remarkable contribution to India’s space programme will never be forgotten. Saddened by demise of renowned scientist Professor UR Rao, PM Modi tweeted this morning.
Rao was responsible for the creation of India’s space and satellite capabilities and their application to the nations development. He undertook the responsibility for the establishment of satellite technology in India in 1972.
Under his guidance, beginning with the first Indian satellite Aryabhata in 1975, over 20 satellites were designed, fabricated and launched. He also accelerated the development of rocket technology in India, resulting in the successful launch of ASLV rocket in 1992 and the operational PSLV launch vehicle.
He had promoted the use of space technology for broadcasting, education, meteorology, remote sensing and disaster warning.
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Last year Rao was inducted into the prestigious “The 2016 IAF Hall of Fame” by the International Astronautical Federation. “Prof U R Rao is hereby inducted into THE 2016 IAF HALL OF FAME for his outstanding contributions to development of space technology in India and for his relentless efforts towards sharing the greater benefits of space technology with developing countries and the world at large,” Professor Rao’s citation read, as per PTI report. In 2013, Rao was inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame, Washington, by the Society of Satellite Professionals International, the report said.
The induction was done during the closing ceremony of the International Astronautical Congress 2016 held at Guadlajara, Mexico on September 30. Rao has contributed to the development of space technology in India and its extensive application to communications and remote sensing of natural resources since start of his career in 1960.