Great summary of Prof. UR Rao's contributions. Him, along with APJ Abdul Kalam have had such a massive impact to Indian space program (and defense tech in case of Kalam), it's a great loss with both of them passing away in the last couple of years.
Prof. UR Rao was instrumental in developing space applications, launch vehicle technology, cryogenic engine project, space science missions of Indian space program. He was also instrumental in setting up ISRO's commercial arm Antrix Corporation, which provides space application and launch services worldwide and generate revenue for ISRO. Most recently, he was laying out plans for ISRO's Venus mission. Now, payload selection is going on for Venus mission. Before coming back to India, Rao was one of the prime experimenters of NASA's Mariner 2, Pioneer 6/7/8/9, and Explorer 34/41 missions. Godspeed, and rest in peace.
These are some interesting interviews of Prof. UR Rao:
ISRO's tribute to Prof UR Rao: http://www.isro.gov.in/update/28-jul-2017/tribute-to-prof-u-...
What an inspiring story! I love that innate sense of purpose, where a top practitioner is getting their hands dirty, working real hard, putting their training to good use but also has a grand positive vision for the future of society. A life well lived!
Thanks swatkat for a good gist. I found it odd that the nytimes mentioned a yoga study which I would guess was not among his super critical contributions and the purpose of which may have a fun study/angle to it like Alan Shepard playing golf on moon.
May his soul rest in peace.
Truly a big loss.
Rest in peace sir, Jai Hind!