Vikram Sarabhai

Vikram Sarabhai was an Indian scientist and innovator widely regarded as the father of India's space programme.

Updated: July 19, 2020

Vikram Sarabhai was an Indian scientist and innovator widely regarded as the father of India's space programme. He was born on 12th August 1919 and died on 30th December 1971.


Childhood of Vikram Sarabhai:

Vikram Sarabhai was son of Ambalal Sarabhai. He came from the famous Sarabhai family of India who were major industrialists committed to the Indian independence movement.


Education of Vikram Sarabhai:

Vikram Sarabhai studied at Gujarat College and University of Cambridge.


Family of Vikram Sarabhai:

Vikram Sarabhai married the 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.


Some facts about Vikram Sarabhai:

  • Known as the cradle of space sciences in India, the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) was founded in 1947 by Vikram Sarabhai. The institute was formally established at the M.G. Science Institute, Ahmedabad, on 11 November 1947 with support from the Karmkshetra Educational Foundation and the Ahmedabad Education Society.
  • Vikram Sarabhai helped set up many institutes that include the Nehru Foundation for Development in Ahmedabad, the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), the Ahmedabad Textile Industry's Research Association (ATIRA) and the (CEPT).
  • Along with his wife Mrinalini Sarabhai, he founded the Darpana Academy of Performing Arts.
  • Other institutions established by him include the Faster Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) in Kalpakkam, Variable Energy Cyclotron Project in Calcutta, Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) in Hyderabad and Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) in Jaduguda, Jharkhand.
  • 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.
  • Vikram Sarabhai established Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA).
  • He was the president of the Physics section, Indian Science Congress (1962) and the General Conference of the I.A.E.A., Vienna (1970).
  • Vikram Sarabhai was the vice-president of Fourth UN Conference on 'Peaceful uses of Atomic Energy' (1971).
  • He was the founder(1963) and chairman (1963-1971) of Space Applications Centre.
  • The Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, (VSSC), which is the Indian Space Research Organization's lead facility for launch vehicle development located in Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), capital of Kerala state, is named in his memory.
  • Indian Postal Department released a commemorative Postal Stamp On his first death anniversary (30th December 1972).
  • In 1973, the International Astronomical Union decided that a lunar crater, Bessel A, in the Sea of Serenity will be known as the Sarabhai crater.
  • Sarabhai received the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Medal in 1962.
  • The nation honored Vikram Sarabhai by awarding Padma Bhushan in 1966 and Padma Vibhushan (posthumously) in 1972.


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