The International Astronautical Federation (IAF) will honour eminent Indian space scientist U.R. Rao with its 2016 ‘Hall of Fame’ award for his outstanding contribution to astronautics, the Indian space agency said on Friday.
“The IAF award is intended to reward personalities for their contributions to the progress of astronautics and the federation,” state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement here.
Rao, 84, will receive the award and a certificate at the closing ceremony of the 67th International Astronautical Congress on September 30 at Guadalajara (Mexico).
“It is a true honour for IAF to attribute this award to Rao, who have been for many years an active participant to the success of space and of the federation,” IAF president Kiyoshi Higuchi said in a letter to him.
The IAF Hall of Fame consists of a permanent gallery of famous personalities, including a citation, biographical information and a picture in a special part of the IAF web presence.
Udupi Ramachandra Rao was ISRO chairman and space secretary from 1985 to 1993. During his eight-year tenure, he accelerated the rocket technology development and guided his team of scientists to build rockets for launching two-tonne class of satellites into the polar orbit.
The Bengaluru-based Rao also initiated the development of the geostationary launch vehicle and cryogenic technology in 1991.
He is presently chairman of the governing council of the space agency’s Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad and chancellor of the Indian Institute of Science and Technology at Thiruvananthapuram.
The Paris-based IAF is an international space advocacy body set up in 1951 to initiate a dialogue among scientists the world over for space cooperation. It has 300 members from 66 countries.