Google celebrated the 89th birth anniversary of professor and scientist Udupi Ramachandra Rao, who is also remembered as ‘Satellite Man’, with a doodle. Rao, who was was an Indian space scientist and chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), supervised the 1975 launch of India’s first satellite — “Aryabhata.”
The doodle features a sketch of Professor Rao with a background of the Earth and shooting stars. “Your stellar technological advancements continue to be felt across the galaxy,” Google wrote in its description. Rao was born in a remote village of Karnataka in 1932. He completed his education in Andhra Pradesh and his Post Graduation under the guidance of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. After completing his doctorate, Rao began his career as a cosmic-ray physicist and then went to the US, where he worked as a professor and conducted experiments on NASA’s Pioneer and Explorer space probes. Upon his return to India, he started an extensive high-energy astronomy program at the Physical Research Laboratory, India’s premier institution for space sciences. It was after that he spearheaded India’s satellite program in 1972.
In 1985, Rao took charge as Chairman, Space Commission and Secretary, Department of Space of ISRO and accelerated India’s development of space technology. Since then, he propelled India’s space program to new heights and also led the successful launch of the ASLV rocket in 1992. For his landmark achievements in space technology, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 1976 and Padma Vibhushan in 2017.