“Rao has been inducted into the 2016 IAF Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions to the development of space technology in India and for his efforts towards sharing the greater benefits of space technology with developing countries and the world at large,” the citation read.
The global recognition for the Padma Bhushan awardee, a former chairman of the state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), came at the International Astronautical Congress of the federation held at Guadlajara in Mexico on September 30.
Rao, 84, is the Chairman of the space agency’s Physical Research Laboratory at Ahmedabad in Gujarat.
“Rao also contributed to the extensive application to communications and remote sensing of natural resources since the 1960s and is responsible for the creation of the country’s space and satellite capabilities and their application to the nation’s development,” ISRO said in a statement here.
Under Rao’s guidance, the Indian space agency had designed, fabricated and launched 20 satellites since the maiden Aryabhata spacecraft in 1975.
Rao also accelerated rocket technology development, which resulted in the launch of the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle rocket in 1992 and the operational launch of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle subsequently.
“Rao promoted the use of space technology for broadcasting, education, meteorology, remote sensing and disaster warning, the space agency said.
Rao has published 360 scientific and technical papers in various journals and received many honours and awards during his career.
The Washington-based Society of Satellite Professionals International also inducted Rao in its Hall of Fame in 2013.