U R Rao inducted into `Satellite Hall of Fame'

Renowned space scientist Prof U R Rao has been inducted into the `Satellite Hall of Fame' of Washington-based Society of Satellite Professionals International.

Rao, a former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and secretary of the Department of Space, is the first Indian space scientist to be inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame comprising about 50 select scientists.

He was conferred the honour at a function attended by over 1,000 distinguished guests consisting of Space Scientists, industry leaders, administrators and professionals on 19 March 2013 at Washington, ISRO said in a release.

''Prof U R Rao, the first Indian space scientist to be inducted into the Satellite Hall of Fame, joins the select group of about 50 Hall of Fame Members, including Dr Arthur C Clarke, Dr Van Allen, Dr Harold Rosen, Olof Lundberg, Eddy Hartenstein, Frederic d'Allest, Sidney Topol, Takayushi Yoshida, Mary Ann Alliott, Mary Frost, Peter Jackson and Robert Berry,'' the release said.

''Prof UR Rao is an internationally renowned space scientist who has contributed to the development of space technology in India and its extensive application to communications and remote sensing of natural resources since starting his career in 1960. More than any other single individual, Prof Rao is responsible for the creation of India's space and satellite capabilities and their application to the nation's development. As head of the Indian Space Research Organisation, Prof Rao undertook the responsibility for the establishment of satellite technology in India in 1972,'' the citation read.

''Under his guidance, beginning with the first Indian satellite 'Aryabhata' in 1975, over 20 satellites were designed, fabricated and launched. Rao also accelerated the development of rocket technology in India, resulting in the successful launch of ASLV rocket in 1992 and the operational PSLV launch vehicle. He has tirelessly promoted the use of space technology for broadcasting, education, meteorology, remote sensing and disaster warning. Rao, who has published over 360 scientific and technical papers in various journals, has received many honours and awards, including the Padma Bhushan Award, a very high civilian award of the Government of India," it added.