What’s the first name that comes to your mind when you think about the Indian Space Research Organisation? Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, the luminary whose vision and tireless dedication laid the foundation for India’s remarkable journey into space.
Yet, beyond his well-known achievements, lies some unknown facts. Let’s take a look at some aspects of Vikram Sarabhai’s extraordinary life and legacy.
- The lander on India’s Chandrayaan-3 lunar mission, which made a successful landing on August 23, 2023, was named Vikram.
- Known as the cradle of Space Sciences in India, the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) was established in 1947 by Vikram Sarabhai. The first project taken up by the lab was ‘RETREAT.’ This project emphasised the study and research of cosmic rays. The project also focused on the Earth’s upper atmosphere.
- Vikram Sarabhai’s vision and pioneering work helped India’s first satellite, Aryabhata, to be launched from a soviet rocket by the Indian Space Research Organisation on April 19, 1975.
- Operations Research Group (ORG), the first market research organisation, was set up by Vikram Sarabhai. He also initiated the Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) in Kalpakkam.
- He was also a significant contributor to the development of the Pharmaceutical industry, and the one to implement the Electronic Data Processing and Operations Research Techniques.
- He was awarded the Shanti Swaroop Bhatnagar Award for Physics in 1962. For his visionary work, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1966 and the Padma Vibhushan in 1972 after his demise.
- Vikram Sarabhai’s constant efforts led to the coming of television in India. His regular communication with NASA formed the base for the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) in 1975.
- He completed his PhD in ‘Cosmic ray investigations in tropical latitudes’ under the advisory of Dr C.V. Raman.
- In 1965, he established the Community Science Centre in Ahmedabad to disseminate knowledge about science among children.
- The International Astronomical Union named a crater in the moon (in the Sea of Serenity) after him, in his honour for his contributions to the field of science.