Man behind 'Aryabhatta' and renowned Indian scientist U R Rao passes away
Professor Udupi Ramachandra Rao, popularly known as UR Rao, renowned space scientist passed away in Bengaluru today. He was 85. Rao the former ISRO chief and the man behind India's first satellite Aryabhatta passed away at around 2.30 am on Monday. He was admitted to hospital with a heart ailment earlier this month.
The former Isro chief was serving as the chairman of the governing council of the physical research laboratory and the chancellor of the Indian Institute of Science and Technology at Thiruvananthapuram.
Saddened by demise of renowned scientist, Professor UR Rao. His remarkable contribution to India's space programme will never be forgotten.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) July 24, 2017
He served as the ISRO chief after Satish Dhawan. He was the ISRO chief between 1984 and 1994.
Born in Adamaru village in Udupi, Rao was associated with India's space programmes along with M G KMenon , Satish Dhawan and Vikram Sarabhai. From Aryabhatta to the Mars Orbiter Mission, Rao has continued to work with the space agency on several of its projects.
In January this year, he was conferred the Padma Vibhushan. After he received the award, he had joked, " I thought I would get this award posthumously.
Rao also held positions in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In May 2016, Rao became the first Indian to be given the 'Hall of Fame' award by the International Astronautical Federation (IAF).
Rao has published over 350 scientific and technical papers on cosmic rays, interplanetary physics, high energy astronomy, space applications and satellite and rocket technology.