Birth centenary of ‘Father of India’s Space programs’! Dr Vikram Sarabhai

Dr. Vikram Sarabhai is considered as the father of India’s space program, and his centenary comes just weeks after India’s Chandrayaan-2 mission to the moon.

Born in Ahmedabad in 12th August 1919, Dr. Sarabhai earned his doctorate at Cambridge. He founded the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad in November 1947.

Sarabhai was also Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. He along with other Ahmedabad-based industrialists played a major role in the creation of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

After Russia’s Sputnik launch, he managed to convince the Indian government on the need for India, a developing country, to have its own space program.

Dr. Sarabhai established the Indian National Committee for Space Research in 1962, which was later renamed as the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). He helped set up the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station in Thiruvananthapuram, with its inaugural flight in November 1963

Dr. Sarabhai had worked on India’s first satellite, Aryabhata, but he never lived to see its launch in 1975, which happened four years after his death. He received the Padma Bhushan in 1966 and was conferred the Padma Vibhushan posthumously in 1972. In 1973, a crater on the moon was named after him.

Emphasising the importance of a space programme, Sarabhai once said,

“There are some who question the relevance of space activities in a developing nation. To us, there is no ambiguity of purpose. We do not have the fantasy of competing with the economically advanced nations in the exploration of the moon or the planets or manned space-flight.”

The Indian scientists at ISRO made a dream come true by successfully launching Chandrayaan-2 just weeks before his birth centenary.

The lander of Chandrayaan-2, India’s second mission to the moon, is named ‘Vikram’ to honour the late Dr Vikram Sarabhai and as celebration of his birth centenary

Features of ‘Vikram’:

  • Lander ‘Vikram’ is designed to operate to function for one lunar day, which is equivalent to about 14 Earth days.
  • Lander ‘Vikram’ has the capability to communicate constantly with the Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN) in Byalalu near Bengaluru in Karnataka, as well as with the Orbiter and Rover.
  • Lander ‘Vikram’ was designed to execute a soft landing on the lunar surface.
  • Lander ‘Vikram’ weighs 1,471 kg and it’s capable of generating about 650 W of electricity.

Google today celebrated the 100th birthday of Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai, one of India’s greatest scientists with a Doodle.

Dr. Sarabhai’s doodle was created by Mumbai-based artist Pavan Rajurkar.

ISRO has launched a year-long programmes and functions from today to commemorate the birth centenary of its founder and eminent space scientist Dr. Vikram Sarabhai.

  • Inaugural function has been organized at Gujarat University convention Hall in Ahmedabad this morning. As the Ahmedabad city is the birthplace of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai, host of dignitaries from Indian Space Research Organization- Department of Science and Department of Atomic Energy have remained present.

The programmes include science and space exhibitions, competitions for school children, journalism awards and speeches by eminent personalities.

  • Centenary celebration programmes have been organized across the 100 selected cities all over India from today.
  • The yearlong celebration will end on 12th August, 2020.
  • AIR Ahmedabad correspondent reports that a commemorative coin has been unveiled during the inaugural ceremony.
  • The unique “Space on Wheels” exhibition inside the bus- also inaugurated on this occasion.
  • ISRO has also unveiled a Coffee Table book and a photo album of on life and work of Dr. Vikram Sarabhai also known as father of Indian Space Program.

Let us bow our head in honour of this great visionary,who inspired Indians to dream. He taught no dream is unachievable with a strong virtue. India today has launched ‘Mangalayan’ and planning on its own space station. A heartfelt thank you to Dr. Vikram Sarabhai.

Dr Sindhu Prashanth