Vikram Sarabhai was born on August 12, 1919.Sarabhai was instrumental in forming India’s future in astronomy and setting up the country’s space research facilities.
- Based on his persuasion, the Indian government agreed to set up the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR)in 1962. He was the first chairman of the committee.
- The INCOSPAR was restructured and renamed as Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 1969.
- Sarabhai founded the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad in 1947. The laboratory started its operation from RETREAT, Sarabhai’s residence in Ahmedabad. Its first topic of research was cosmic rays.
- He also set up India’s first rocket launch site in Thumba, a small village near the Thiruvananthapuram airport in Kerala.
- Vikram Sarabhai was also responsible for bringing cable television to India. His constant contact with NASA paved a way for the establishment of Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) in 1975.
- Sarabhai was the mastermind behind building India’s first satellite, Aryabhata.
- He was one of the founding members of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA).
- Vikram Sarabhai received the Padma Bhushan in 1966for his contribution to India’s progress. He was also awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1972, posthumously.