BENGALURU: Renowned scientist and former chief of the Indian Space Research Organisation, U R Rao, breathed his last during the early hours of Monday morning. He was 85.
He was treated in the hospital earlier this month for age-related illness. He breathed his last at around 2 am on Monday morning
He was serving as the Chancellor of the Indian Institute of Science and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram,
Born in Udupi district in coastal Karnataka, U R Rao was associated with ISRO since its first launch of Aryabhatta satellite and served as the space agency's chairman from 1984-94.
U R Rao was born on March 10, 1932 and is the recipient of both Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awards. Rao also won several international and national awards for his contribution to space research and technology.
According to the ISRO website, under UR Rao's 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.
Moreover, during his tenure as ISRO chief, the development of rocket technology was speeded up, resulting in the successful launch of the ASLV rocket and the operational PSLV launch vehicle, which can launch two- ton class satellites into polar orbit. He also initiated the development of the geostationary launch vehicle or GSLV and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991.
Rao was also the first Indian Space scientist to be inducted into the highly Prestigious Satellite Hall of Fame in Washington DC, USA on March 19, 2013. Rao also became the first Indian Space Scientist to be inducted into the highly Prestigious IAF Hall of Fame at Guadalajara, Mexico.