Google doodle celebrates the 89th birth anniversary of India’s Satellite Man, Udupi Ramachandra Rao, former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman. Prof. Rao passed away in 2017, he led the launch of India’s first satellite ‘Aryabhata’ in 1975.

He was the protege of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, a scientist widely regarded as the father of India’s space program. Prof Rao was born in a remote village of Karnataka on 10th March 1932. He started his career as a cosmic-ray physicist. Prof. also brought his talents to the US, where he started working as a professor and initiated experiments on NASA’s Pioneer and Explorer space probes.

In 1966, on his return to India, he started an extensive high-energy astronomy program at the Physical Research Laboratory. It was known as the country’s premier institution for space sciences at the time. 

After his much-celebrated success of the Aryabhata satellite, Prof Rao guided the development of over 20 satellites that transformed much of rural India by advancing communication and meteorological services. 

In 1976, Udupi Ramachandra Rao was conferred Padma Bhushan and in 2017 he was awarded Padma Vibhushan, after which he took the helm of ISRO as its chairman in 1984 and headed the organization for the next decade. 

He was instrumental in scientists understanding the solar cosmic-ray phenomena and the electromagnetic state of interplanetary space.

Professor Rao is renowned for his achievements and contribution to India. he was the first-ever Indian to be inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame In 2013. The same year PSLV launched a satellite that orbits Mars today– ‘Mangalyaan’, India’s first interplanetary mission.

The search engine today, Google commemorates the 89th birth anniversary of India’s Satellite Man’ and former ISRO chairman.