Today i.e 30th of Dec marks the Death anniversary of Dr Vikram Sarabhai.
As we all know, Dr Vikram Sarabhai is also known as The Father Of Indian Space Program.
So Today we are going to present you some less known facts about the greatest scientist of India:-
Dr. Vikram Sarabhai was born on August 12, 1919. Sarabhai was the man much more ahead of his time and was the main force behind setting up the country’s space research facilities.
He was born as one of the eight children of Ambalal and Sarla Devi in the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat.He came from the famous Sarabhai family of India who were major industrialists committed to the Indian independence movement.
He had his early education in a private school, “Retreat” run by his parents on Montessori .
After his matriculation, Vikram Sarabhai went to Cambridge for his college education and took the tripos in Natural Sciences from St. John’s College in 1940.
Vikram Sarabhai got married to the Prominent classical dancer Mrinalini in 1942. The couple had two children. His daughter Mallika gained prominence as an actress and activist, and his son Kartikeya Sarabhai too became an active person in science. During his lifetime, he practiced Jainism and belonged to theShrimal Jain community of Ahmedabad.
With the beginning of World War II, he returned home, joined as a research scholar under Sir CV Raman at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. His interest in solar physics and cosmic ray led him to set up many observation stations around the country. He built the necessary equipment and took measurements at Bangalore, Pune and the Himalayas. He returned to Cambridge in 1945 and completed his PhD in 1947.
After returning from Cambridge to an independent India in 1947, he persuaded charitable trusts controlled by his family and friends to endow a research institution near home in Ahmedabad. He became instrumental in establishing the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad in November 1947. The laboratory was established in a few rooms in the MG Science Institute of the Ahmedabad Education Society, which was founded by his parents.
He was also Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. He along with other Ahmadabad-based industrialists played a major role in the creation of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad.
Indian Space Program
The establishment of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was one of his greatest achievements. He successfully convinced the government of the importance of a space program for a developing country like India after the Russian Sputnik launch. Dr. Sarabhai emphasized on the importance of a space program in his quote:
“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. ”
“But we are convinced that if we are to play a meaningful role nationally, and in the community of nations, we must be second to none in the application of advanced technologies to the real problems of man and society.”
Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha supported Dr. Sarabhai in setting up the first rocket launching station in India
Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha, widely regarded as the father of India’s nuclear science program, who was then the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, supported Dr. Sarabhai in setting up the first rocket launching station in India. This center was established at Thumba near Thiruvananthapuram on the coast of the Arabian Sea, primarily because of its proximity to the equator. After a remarkable effort in setting up the infrastructure, personnel, communication links, and launch pads, the inaugural flight was launched on November 21, 1963 with a sodium vapour payload.
After the sudden demise of Homi Bhabha in an air crash, Vikram Sarabhai took over as Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission in May 1966. He always longed that the practical application of science should reach the common man. He worked towards acquiring competence in advance technology for the solution of country’s problems based on technical and economic evaluation of its real resources. He initiated India’s space programme, which today is renowned all over the world.
As a result of Dr. Sarabhai’s dialogue with NASA in 1966, the Satellite Instructional Television Experiment (SITE) was launched during July 1975 – July 1976.
Dr. Sarabhai started a project for the fabrication and launch of an Indian Satellite. As a result, the first Indian satellite, Aryabhata, was put in orbit in 1975 from a Russian Cosmodrome.
Dr. Sarabhai was very interested in science education and founded a Community Science Centre at Ahmedabad in 1966. Today, the Centre is called the Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Centre.
Dr Vikram Sarabhai received the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Medal in 1962. The nation honoured him awarding Padma Bhushan in 1966 and Padma Vibhushan (posthumously) in 1972.
Vikram Sarabhai passed away in his sleep on December 30, 1971.
Source: vssc.gov.in, isro.gov.in