Google is celebrating the 89th birthday of renowned Indian professor and scientist Udupi Ramachandra Rao today, remembered by many as “India’s Satellite Man.” Professor Rao, who died in 2017, was an Indian space scientist and chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
“Born in a remote village of Karnataka on this day in 1932, Prof Rao began his career as a cosmic-ray physicist and protege of Dr Vikram Sarabhai, a scientist widely regarded as the father of India’s space program. After completing his doctorate, Prof Rao brought his talents to the US, where he worked as a professor and conducted experiments on NASA’s Pioneer and Explorer space probes,” the description on Google Doodle’s website reads.
The doodle features a sketch of Professor Rao with a background of the Earth and shooting stars.
Prof Rao returned to India in 1966 and initiated an extensive high energy astronomy program at the Physical Research Laboratory, India’s premier institution for space sciences, before spearheading his country’s satellite program 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.
“From 1984 to 1994, Prof. Rao continued to propel his nation’s space program to stratospheric heights as chairman of India’s Space Research Organization,” according to Google.
He developed rocket technology such as the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), which has launched over 250 satellites. Prof Rao became the first Indian inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame in 2013, the same year that PSLV launched India’s first interplanetary mission-“Mangalyaan”-a satellite that orbits Mars today.
“Happy Birthday, Prof Rao! Your stellar technological advancements continue to be felt across the galaxy,” the doodle says.