Udupi Ramchandra Rao, renowned as the satellite man of India took birth on 10th March and this year it will be his 89th birth anniversary. The celebrations of this day aims at remembering his immense contribution in the field of space science and technology. Presently, it is because of his contributions that the science of space and technology achieved great heights especially in India, and we are experiencing the benefits of the same. Let us know about him in detail. 

Key Points About Udupi Ramchandra Rao

  • Udupi Ramchandra Rao born on 10th March 1932 in Karnataka and spent his childhood in a small village. 
  • After completing his schooling, he did his BSc. from Madras University (1952), MSc. from BHU University (1954), Ph.D. Gujarat University (1960). 
  • Rao, began his career under the guidance of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai (the father of India’s space program) and thereafter went to the US as a faculty member at MIT and Asst. Professor at University of Texas at Dallas. 
  • He came back to India in 1966, and thereafter did various researches at a large scale. India launched its first satellite Aryabhata under the leadership of Prof. Rao in 1975.
  • Speaking about research again, Prof. Rao has over 350 scientific and technical research papers under his name in the field of cosmic rays, interplanetary physics, etc. 
  • Google honoured him with a special doodle at his web page on the occasion of his birth anniversary. 
  • With such an immense and successful career Prof. Rao remained deprived of the prime motive of a human life which is the attainment of Supreme God Kabir and died in 2017. 
  • Sat Bhakti has no alternative, like food is required by our body to work, the same way Sat Bhakti of Supreme God Kabir is required by a soul to attain salvation. 

Udupi Ramchandra Rao’s Education and Career

Udupi Ramchandra Rao, the satellite man of India was born on 10th March 1932 at Adamaru, Karnataka. The names of his parents were Lakshminarayana Acharya and Krishnaveni Amma. He did his primary schooling at Adamaru and secondary schooling from Christian High School, Udupi. Further he completed his studies in the following order:-

  • Ph.D. at Gujarat University (1960). 
  • Master of Science (M.Sc.) from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) (1954). 
  • Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) from Madras University (1952). 

He completed his doctorate under the guidance of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai (Father of Indian Space Program) and he started his career as a cosmic physicist under Dr. Sarabhai only. Then he went to the US and worked there as a faculty member at MIT and Assistant Professor at University of Texas. Being a Professor there, he performed various experiments on Pioneer and Explorer Space probes of NASA. Urging towards the need to enhance space technologies in India, he returned to India as a professor at Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad in 1966.

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Contribution in Indian Space Programme 

Dr. R. Rao understood and believed that space technologies are required for enhancing the growth of the nation. For that purpose, he highlighted the future aspects of aerospace in solving social problems like poverty. And thus he established satellite technology in India in 1972.

  • In 1975, he launched the Aryabhata, the first satellite of India. Further he designed and launched 18 more satellites. 
  • In 1984, Rao took the responsibility as Chairman, Space Commission and Secretary, Department of Space of ISRO. At ISRO he played a major role in developing rocket technology. 
  • Under his guidance only, the nation was able to develop ASLV (Advance Satellite Launch Vehicle) by 1992.
  • Further, he developed the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) which went on to launch over 250 satellites that includes the famous ‘Mangalyaan’-the nation’s first interplanetary satellite. 
  • And he further led to the development of GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) and cryogenic technology in 1991.

These satellites are the roots of taking the nation’s growth to new heights. And has been serving the nation onto the fields of communication, remote sensing and meteorological services. Because of such innovation and sharpness, his contributions are believed to be immense in the field of space and technology in nation’s growth. 

Udupi Ramchandra Rao Awards and Honours

With such contribution to the nation’s growth every award seems to be less in front of him. Though he was awarded with so many awards and honours, some of the major are mentioned below:-

  • After the successful launch of ‘Aryabhata’, he was awarded with Third highest civilian award Padma Bhushan in 1976.
  • Again, he was awarded with the second highest civilian award the Padma Vibhushan in the year 2017.
  • He was introduced into the Satellite Hall of Fame, Washington in March 2013 at an event being led by Society of Satellite Professionals International. 
  • International Astronautics Federation (IAF) also inducted him into the Hall of fame in May 2016, he was the first Indian to achieve that honour. 
  • In 2005, he was awarded with Theodore Von Karman Award which is the highest award of the International Academy of Astronautics.
  • In his period of working, he published over 350 technical and scientific research papers on the topic of cosmic rays, interplanetary physics, high energy astronomy and satellite and rocket technology. And has been the author of many books as well. 

Google Honoured Him With a Special Doodle

With celebrations all around the globe of the 89th birthday of the legend, Google is also not far behind. He designed a special doodle as displayed on  his web page to honour the great scientist. 

The doodle displayed a gentleman in suit and tie holding a satellite with space and an enlarged view of planet earth in the background. This doodle seems to have gained popularity around the globe and everyone has their eyes upon it. 

A Human Life Without Sat Bhakti Is the Human Life Wasted

With such immense potential and enormous amount of success, Dr. R. Rao remained deprived of fulfilling the prime motive of a human birth which is in concluding the cycle of birth and death by worshiping Supreme God Kabir. Kabir Saheb says:-

Manush janam paye kar jo nahi rate Hari Naam |

Jaise kuua jal bina fir banwaya kya kaam ||

A human life is obtained after the rotation of our souls into 84 lakh species of animals. So a pious soul should understand the value of it and should try to end the brutal cycle of birth and death because it is only possible through a human birth.

A pious soul should think that without Sat bhakti our life is like animals running after our foods for all our lives. The thing that makes us different from animals is the power to attain Supreme God Kabir. Hence we should take it with both of our hands. Saint Garibdas ji from Haryana says in His sacred Speech:-

Bhakti bina nar khar ek hai, Jini Hari Padh nahi janya |

ParBrahm ki parakh nahi re, Puji muye pashanam ||

Who Can Help Us in Going in the Refuge of Supreme God Kabir? 

Currently, Lord Kabir has given us the provision of going under His refuge only through Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj from Haryana. As He is the only Complete Saint among all the saints around, hence it is very easy for us to spot the difference between them on the basis of spiritual knowledge given by them. Therefore we should not get late in taking Naam Diksha (initiation) from Him