Former ISRO Chairman Udupi Ramachandra Rao Passed Away:- Due to age related ailments, an eminent Space Scientist and former Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) Chairman Udupi Ramachandra Rao, passed away in the wee hours today.
ISRO Public Relations Director Deviprasad Karnik told a leading news channel, “Rao breathed his last during the early hours, around 3 AM today.”
ISRO officials said, he was suffering from age related ailments and breathed his last at his residence in the Bengaluru city. Rao is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. Born in Adamaru area of Karnataka’s Udupi district, Mr. Rao till date, was involved in all ISRO missions in one form or the other. He is credited for contributions to the development of space technology in India and its extensive application to communications and remote sensing of natural resources.
Rao was serving as the chairman of the governing council of the Physical Research Laboratory and the chancellor of the Indian Institute of Science and Technology currently in Thiruvananthapuram. Moreover, he served as the chairman of ISRO for 10 years from 1984-1994. He accelerated the development of rocket technology, after taking charge as chairman of the space commission and secretary, department of space in 1984. The rocket technology led to the successful launch of ASLV rocket and the operational PSLV launch vehicle. Rao’s profile on the website reads that the vehicles can launch 2.0 ton class of satellites into polar orbit.
The development of the Geo Stationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991 was also started by Mr. Rao. For his contribution to Indian space technology, in 1976, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan and in 2017 Padma Vibhushan.
More than 350 scientific and technical papers covering cosmic rays, interplanetary physics, high energy astronomy, space applications, satellite and rocket technology were published by him and he even authored many books.
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.