Bengaluru, Aug 12: Marking the 99th birth anniversary of India's space pioneer Vikram Sarabhai, the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Sunday unveiled his bust at its headquarters here.
The space agency's former chairmen K. Kasturirangan and A.S. Kiran Kumar and incumbent Chairman K. Sivan was present on the occasion at the Antriksh Bhavan.
Sarabhai was born on August 12, 1919, in Ahmedabad. Gujarat. He died on December 30, 1971, at the age of 52 at Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. As the founding father of the Indian space programme, Sarabhai set up the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad in 1947 as a precursor to the ISRO.
"Sarabhai chose space technology to reduce inequality. Under his guidance and leadership, India has been able to achieve what he had envisioned," Sivan said.
The space agency will mark Sarabhai's birth centenary in 2019 and celebrate the event through the year with space-related activities. "To mark the centenary, knowledge centres will be set up across the country and scholarships, fellowships and the Sarabhai international award for innovation in space technology will be presented," said Sivan.
The unveiling of his statue (bust) is a curtain raiser to his birth centenary. The proposal to name Chandrayaan-2 lander as "Vikram" was approved by the Department of Space.
"As the true tribute we can offer Sarabhai is through our space missions, we will launch nine missions over the next five months, with at least two a month," asserted Sivan. Sarabhai was awarded (posthumously) the Padma Vibhushan in 1972, Padma Bhushan in 1966 and Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar medal in 1962.