- UR Rao was the chairman of ISRO from 1984 to 1994
- He was responsible for the launch of Aryabhata, India's first satellite
- He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1976 and Padma Vibhushan in 2017
He was responsible for the launch of India's first satellite Aryabhata
"Rao breathed his last during the early hours, around 3 AM today," ISRO Public Relations Director Deviprasad Karnik told news agency PTI. Prof. Rao is survived by his wife, son and daughter.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted:
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
Known for his expertise in inter-planetary exploration, Prof Rao, who headed ISRO for 10 years between 1984 and 1994, was the brain behind what science needs to be done using Chandrayaan-1 and Mangalyaan. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1976 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2017 for his contribution to Indian space technology.
In 2013, he became the first Indian space scientist to be inducted into the prestigious 'Satellite Hall of Fame' in Washington DC on and the 'IAF Hall of Fame' in Mexico's Guadalajara.
He was currently serving as the chairman of the governing council of the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad and the chancellor of the Indian institute of science and technology in Thiruvananthapuram.
He was looking forward to India's maiden launch to planet Venus in the coming years.
(With inputs from PTI)