Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed grief over the passing away of internationally renowned scientist Professor UR Rao. In a post on Twitter, the Prime Minister said that he is saddened by Professor Rao’s death. “Saddened by demise of renowned scientist, Professor UR Rao. His remarkable contribution to India’s space programme will never be forgotten,” PM Modi wrote.
Former ISRO Chairman Udupi Ramachandra Rao passed away in the wee hours of Monday due to age related ailments. According to an ISRO official cited by news agency PTI, Professor Rao took his last breath at around 3 am in the morning. “Rao breathed his last during the early hours, around 3 AM today,” ISRO Public Relations Director Deviprasad Karnik told PTI. According to ISRO officials, the 2017 Padma Vibhushan award winning scientists is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
Karnataka BJP president BS Yeddyurappa also expressed his condolences over the scientist’s death. In a statement on Twitter, the BJP leader wrote, “One of the finest space scientist of the county,with the passing away of Sh.U.R.Rao has made the scientific world poorer. My condolences.” Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raj also expressed her grief and said Professor Rao’s contribution will never be forgotten. “Saddened by the demise of Prof. U R Rao. He shall be remembered for his rich contribution to @isro. My heartfelt condolences to the family,” Raje wrote on Twitter.
Professor Rao, who served as the Chairman of ISRO for 10 years between 1984-1994, was included in the highly prestigious International Aeronautical Federation (IAF) Hall of Fame last year during the closing ceremony of IAF Congress 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico. He was also included in the prestigious “Satellite Hall of Fame” at Washington DC in 2013.
As ISRO Chairman, Professor Rao had accelerated the development of rocket technology which led to the launch of ASLV rocket and the operational PSLV launch vehicle, according to ISRO’s profile. He was also responsible for initiating the development of Geo Stationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and the development of cryogenic technology in 1991.