Who is Udupi Ramachandra Rao? Udupi Ramachandra Rao Wiki, Bio and More

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Who is Udupi Ramachandra Rao?

Udupi Ramachandra Rao was an Indian space scientist and chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation. He was born on 10 March 1932 and died on 24 July 2017.

U. R. Rao was born at Adamaru in the state of Karnataka. In a Brahmin society his parents were Lakshminarayana Acharya and Krishnaveni Amma.

Udupi Ramachandra Rao


Udupi Ramachandra Rao did his primary education at Adamaru and completed his secondary education from Christian High School, Udupi. He also completed his B.Sc. in Government Arts and Science College, Anantpur, M.Sc. from Banaras Hindu University and Ph.D. at Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad under the guidance of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai.

  • Ph.D. – Gujarat University, 1960
  • M.Sc. – Banaras Hindu University, 1954
  • B.Sc. – Madras University, 1952


Udupi Ramachandra Rao started his career as a cosmic ray scientist and worked under Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, which he continued at MIT. Under his guidance, beginning with the first Indian satellite “Aryabhata” in 1975, over 18 satellites including Bhaskara, APPLE, Rohini, INSAT-1, and INSAT-2 series of multipurpose satellites and the IRS-1A and IRS-1B remote sensing satellites were designed, fabricated, and launched for providing communication, remote sensing, and meteorological services.

Born10 March 1932 Adamaru, (present-day Udupi district, Karnataka, India)
Died24 July 2017 (aged 85) Bengaluru, India
Known forIndian Space Program
Spouse(s)Yashoda Rao
AwardsPadma Bhushan (1976)Padma Vibhushan (2017)
FieldsSpace science and Satellite Technology
InstitutionsIndian Space Research Organisation
Physical Research Laboratory
Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, Bengaluru

Chairman, Indian Space Research Organisation

In office from 1984–1994

Preceded by Satish Dhawan

Succeeded by Krishnaswamy Kasturirangan

Awards and Achivements

Udupi Ramachandra Rao was the first Indian to be inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame, Washington, on 19 March 2013 at a ceremony organised by the Society of Satellite Professionals International.

Apart from this he was also the Chairman of the Governing Council of the Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad and Nehru Planetarium at Bengaluru and chancellor of the Indian Institute for Space Science and Technology (IIST) at Thiruvananthapuram.

Udupi Ramachandra Rao was the recipient of many national and international awards, such as-

National Awards

  • 1975 Karnataka Rajyotsava Award
  • 1975 Hari Om Vikram Sarabhai Award
  • 1975 Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award in the Space science & technology field
  • 1976 Padma Bhushan
  • 1980 National Design Award
  • 1980 Vasvik Research Award in the Electronic Sciences & Technology field[18]
  • 1983 Karnataka Rajyotsava Award
  • 1987 PC Mahalanobis Medal
  • 1993 Om Prakash Bhasin Award in the Energy & Aerospace field
  • 1993 Meghnad Saha Medal
  • 1994 P.C. Chandra Puraskar Award

and the list goes on and on.

But but his death in 2017 in he was honoured with Padma Vibhushan

International Awards

  • 1973 Group Achievement Award by NASA, USA
  • 1975 Medal of Honour by Academy of Sciences, USSR
  • 1991 Yuri Gagarin Medal of USSR
  • 1992 Allan D Emil Award on International Cooperation
  • 1994 Frank J Malina Award (International Astronautical Federation)
  • 1996 Vikram Sarabhai Medal of COSPAR
  • 1997 Outstanding Book Award of the International Academy of Astronautics for the Book Space Technology for Sustainable Development
  • 2000 Eduard Dolezal Award of ISPRS
  • 2004 Space News magazine named him as one of the Top 10 International personalities who have made a substantial difference in civil, commerce and military space in the world since 1989
  • 2005 Theodore Von Karman Award which is the highest Award of the International Academy of Astronautics.
  • 2013 Inducted into Satellite Hall of Fame by Society of Satellite Professionals International
  • 2016 Inducted into Hall of Fame by International Astronautical Federation.

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