VIKRAM SARABHAIBorn: August 12, 1919Died: December 31,1971 By Trinadh Bandaru 1
ABOUT VIKRAM SARABHAIVikram Sarabhai was one of the greatest scientists of India. He is consideredas “The Father Of The Indian Space Program.”Apart from being a scientist, he was a rare combination of aninnovator, industrialist and visionary.Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai was born on August 12, 1919 at Ahmadabad in anaffluent family of progressive industrialists. He was one of eight children ofAmbalal and Sarla Devi. He had his early education in a private school, “Retreat” run by his parents onMontessori lines.Some of the great men of India such as Gurudev Rabindranath, J. KrishnaMurthi, Motilal Nehru, V. S. Shrinivasa Shastri, Jawaharlal Nehru, SarojiniNaidu, Maulana Azad, C. F. Andrews, C. V. Raman et al. used to stay with theSarabhai family when they visited Ahmedabad. Mahatma Gandhi also oncestayed at their house while recovering from an illness. Visits by such great mengreatly influenced Vikram Sarabhai.
ABOUT VIKRAM SARABHAIWhen World War II began, he returned home and joined as a research scholarunder Sir C. V. Raman at The Indian Institute Of Science, Bangalore.After his matriculation, Vikram Sarabhai proceeded to Cambridge for his collegeeducation and took the “Tripods Degree” from St. Johns College in 1940. His interest in solar physics and cosmic ray led him to set up many observationstations around the country. He built the necessary equipment with which he tookmeasurements at Bangalore, Poona and the Himalayas. He returned toCambridge in 1945 and completed his Ph.D in 1947.The year 1957-1958 was designated as International Geo-physical year (IGY).The Indian program for the IGY had been one of the most significant ventures ofSarabhai. It exposed him to the new vistas of space science with the launching in1957 of Sputnik-I. Subsequently, the Indian National Committee For SpaceResearch was created, of which Vikram Sarabhai became Chairman.With active support from Homi Bhabha, Vikram Sarabhai, set up the firstRocket Launching
ABOUT VIKRAM SARABHAIStation (TERLS) in the country at Thumba near Thiruvananthapuram on theArabian Coast, as Thumba is very close to the Equator.The first rocket with sodium vapour payload was launched on November 21,1963. In 1965, the UN General Assembly gave recognition to TERLS as aninternational facility.After the sudden death of Homi Bhabha in an air crash, Vikram Sarabhai wasappointed Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission in May 1966.Dr. Vikram Sarabhai was awarded with Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Medal in 1962and Padma Bhushan in 1966. Vikram Sarabhai passed away in his sleep onDecember 31,1971
ABOUT ARYABHATA SATILITELaunch Date : April 19, 1975Weight : 360 kgOrbit : 619 x 562 km inclined at 50.7 degLauched by : Soviet Intercosmos rocket.Objectives : The objectives of this project were to indigenously design andfabricate a space-worthy satellite system and evaluate its perfromance in orbitr. To evolve the methodology of conducting a series of complex operations on thesatellite in its orbital phasei.To set up ground-based receiving, transmitting andtracking systems and to establish infrastructure for the fabrication of spacecraftsystems.The exercise also provided an opportunity to conduct investigations in the area ofspcae sciences. The satellite carried three experiments, one each in X-RayAstronomy, Solar Physics and Aeronomy.
THE PHOTOS OF ARYABHATA SATILILTEAryabhataSatililte The telecommunication antenna at SHAR centre to send commands to Aryabhata (1975-76)