Guwahati: Dr Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai was born on August 12, 1919, and was well known as the founder of ISRO. He was also involved in some major institution-building efforts in India. One of them is the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad. He also established the National Committee for Space Research in 1962, which was later renamed the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
Vikram Sarabhai also set up the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station in southern India.
After the death of physicist Homi Bhabha in 1966, Vikram Sarabhai was appointed chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India.
He then carried forward the work of Homi Bhabha in the field of nuclear research.
Vikram Sarabhai was also largely responsible for the establishment and development of India’s nuclear power plants and laid the foundation for the indigenous development of nuclear technology for defence purposes.
Dr Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai died on December 30, 1971. It was the same day when he was supposed to review the SLV design before his departure for Bombay.
Before his death, he had also spoken to the then President of India, Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, on the telephone.
Within an hour of the conversation, Vikram Sarabhai died at the age of 52 due to cardiac arrest in Thiruvananthapuram.
His body was cremated in Ahmedabad.
In the memory of Dr Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai, The Vikram Sarabhai Space Center, which is an Indian Space Research organization lead facility for launch vehicle development in Thiruvananthapuram.
In 1972, The Indian Postal Department released a commemorative Postal Stamp on the anniversary of his death.
The lander of India’s moon mission Chandrayan-2, which was to land near the South Pole of the moon on September 20, 2019, was also named Vikram in his honour.
The Space Museum was dedicated to him at BM Birla Science Centre, Hyderabad on July 26, 2019.
Vikram Sarabhai was honoured with Padma Bhushan in 1966
In 1972, he was honoured posthumously by Padma Vibhushan.