Vikram Sarabhai

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  • Dr. Vikram Sarabhai (1919–1971) is regarded as the father of the Indian space programme. He was instrumental in establishing the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad in November 1947, and set up the first rocket launching station in India at Thumba near Thiruvananthapuram rocket launching station (TERLS), with active support from Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha, from where the first rocket with sodium vapour payload was launched on November 21, 1963. He was appointed chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission in May 1966. He also served as president of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and vice-president of the fourth UN Conference on peaceful uses of atomic energy. This article was first published in the IDSA Journal, 3(1), April 1970.

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