On the occasion of the 89th birth anniversary of renowned Indian professor and scientist Udupi Ramachandra Rao, Google shared a Doodle commemorating ‘India’s Satellite Man’.
Professor Rao, who passed away in 2017, was an Indian space scientist and chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), who propelled India’s space program to dizzying heights. The doodle which was shared featured a sketch of Professor Rao with a background of the Earth and shooting stars.
The description on Google Doodle’s website read, “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.”
Professor Rao returned back to India in the year 1966 and started an extensive high-energy astronomy program at the Physical Research Laboratory, which was the country’s premier institution for space sciences, before spearheading his country’s satellite program in 1972.
He even supervised the launch of India’s first satellite, ‘Aryabhata’, in 1975. It was one of over 20 satellites he developed that transformed much of rural India by advancing communication and meteorological services.
As per Google, “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.”
He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1976 and Padma Vibhushan in 2017.
Professor Rao became the first-ever Indian to be inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame in the year 2013, the same year that PSLV launched India’s first interplanetary mission ‘Mangalyaan’, which was a satellite that orbits Mars today.
His experiments on a number of Pioneer and Explorer spacecraft led to a complete understanding of the solar cosmic-ray phenomena and the electromagnetic state of the interplanetary space.