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Vikram Sarabhai 49th Death Anniversary: Interesting Facts About the Father of Indian Space Program and a Visionary Scientist

New Delhi, December 30: The year 2020 marks the 49th Death Anniversary of one of the greatest scientists of India, Vikram Sarabhai. Regarded as the father of the Indian Space Program, Sarabhai was the person who started the space research in India and helped develop nuclear power in the country. The great scientist was born to Ambalal Sarabhai on August 12, 1919. Sarabhai died on December 30, 1971 at the age of 52. He was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 1966 and Padma Vibhushan (posthumously) in 1972.  Marking Birth Anniversary of India’s Space Pioneer Vikram Sarabhai, ISRO Unveiled His Bust at its Bengaluru Headquarters.

Here are some lesser-known facts about Vikram Sarabhai- the Father of the Indian Space Program

  1. Vikram Sarabhai was the son of Ambalal Sarabhai and belonged to the famous Sarabhai family of India who were major industrialists committed to the Indian independence movement.
  2. Sarabhai married the classical dancer Mrinalini in 1942. The couple had two children. His daughter Mallika gained prominence as an actress and activist, and his son Kartikeya too became an active person in science.
  3. During his lifetime, he practiced Jainism. He attended Gujarat College, Ahmedabad, but later moved to the University of Cambridge, England, where he took his tripos in natural sciences in 1940.
  4. Known as the cradle of space sciences in India, the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) was founded in 1947 by Vikram Sarabhai. PRL had a modest beginning at his residence, the “RETREAT”, with research on cosmic rays.
  5. Vikram Sarabhai led the Sarabhai family-owned business conglomerate. His interests varied from science to sports to statistics. He set up the Operations Research Group (ORG), the first market research organization in the country.
  6. Most notable among the many institutes he helped set up are the Nehru Foundation for Development in Ahmedabad, the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), the Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association (ATIRA) and the (CEPT).
  7. The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, (VSSC), which is the Indian Space Research Organization’s lead facility for launch vehicle development located in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), capital of Kerala state, is named in his memory.
  8. The lander on India’s moon mission Chandrayaan-2 which was to land near the South Pole of the moon on Sep 20, 2019 was named Vikram in his honour.

Vikram was also Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. Along with other Ahmedabad-based industrialists, he played a major role in the creation of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. To pay homage to the father of India’s space programme, ISRO has also announced an award in his name on his 100th birthday.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 30, 2020 11:47 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).

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