UR Rao’s contribution to India’s space research programme over the years can never be forgotten.

India loses a shining star Condolences pour in over eminent scientist UR Raos demise Screenshot; Rajya Sabha TV/YouTube
Social ISRO Monday, July 24, 2017 - 12:42

Noted scientist and former ISRO chairperson Udupi Ramachandra Rao breathed his last on Monday in Bengaluru.

Rao, who was 85, passed away after a prolonged illness due to age-related health issues.

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.

UR Rao was associated with the launch of India’s first satellite Aryabhatta. According to ISRO, "Convinced of the imperative need to use space technology for rapid development, Prof Rao 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 18 satellites were designed and launched for providing communication, remote sensing and meteorological services."

During his tenure in ISRO, many successful PSLV missions were launched, but more importantly it was UR Rao and his colleagues who drove ISRO to initiate the GSLV vehicle. "After taking charge as Chairman, Space Commission and Secretary, Department of Space in 1984, Prof Rao accelerated the development of rocket technology, resulting in the successful launch of ASLV rocket and the operational PSLV launch vehicle, which can launch 2.0 ton class of satellites into polar orbit. Prof Rao initiated the development of the geostationary launch vehicle (GSLV) and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991," ISRO's website states.

Also read: Udupi Ramachandra Rao, eminent space scientist and former ISRO chairman, dies at 85