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Dr.Vikram Sarabhai: Father of the Indian space program

Dr.Vikram Sarabha is an Indian scientist and established Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). Dr.Vikram Sarabha was also Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.

Dr.Vikram Sarabhai: Father of the Indian space program

Tuesday August 13, 2019,

4 min Read

Vikram Sarabhai born on 12 august 1919 in Ahmedabad,Gujarat(India). He was born as one of the eight children of Ambalal and Sarla Devi in the city of Ahmedabad in a great India. Vikram Sarabhai family was a very affluent one witch managed several textile mills.

He went to England for his higher studies, After intermediate examinations passed in Gujarat College in Ahmedabad.

He coming back to India and joined the Indian institute of science in Bangalore to carry out research on cosmic rays.

Vikram Sarabhai

He returned to Cambridge in 1945 to research on cosmic rays and earned his PhD for his thesis "Cosmic Ray investigations in tropical latitudes"

He returned to India and stated IIM(Indian Institute of Management) along with businessman kasturghai lalbhai in 1961, he is one of the founder and this is second IIM in the country.

Sputnik 1 was the first artificial Earth satellite. At that time, he explained about space program station to Indian government and finally convinced to establish Indian national committee for space research in 1962 by Indian government. Sarabhai was the first Chairman of the Space Research Center (INCOSPAR).

The INCOSPAR was renamed as ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) in 1969.

Dr. Sarabhai established institutions :


  • Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad
  • Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad
  • Community Science Centre, Ahmedabad
  • Darpan Academy for Performing Arts, Ahmedabad (along with his wife)
  • Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
  • Faster Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR), Kalpakkam
  • Varaiable Energy Cyclotron Project, Calcutta
  • Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), Hyderabad
  • Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), Jaduguda, Bihar

In 1975, Vikram Sarabhai taken responsible for bringing cable TV to India. He contact with NASA for the establishment of Satellite instructional television Experiment(SITE).

With government support, Dr. Sarabhai in the creation of the first rocket launch station in India. This center was established in Thumba near Thiruvananthapuram on the coast of the Arabian Sea, mainly due to its proximity to the equator.

Dr. Sarabhai began a project for the manufacture and launch of an Indian satellite. As a result, the first Indian satellite, Aryabhata, was put into orbit in 1975 from a Russian Cosmodrome.

Dr. Sarabhai was very interested in science education and founded a Community Science Center in Ahmedabad in 1966. Today, the Center is called Vikram A Sarabhai Community Science Center.

Son of Ambalal Sarabhai, he came from the famous Sarabhai family of India, who were important industrialists committed to the Indian independence movement. The couple had two children. His daughter Mallika gained prominence as an actress and activist, and his son Kartikeya also became an active person in science. During his life, he practiced Jainism.

Known as the cradle of space science in India, the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) was founded in 1947 by Vikram Sarabhai. PRL had a modest start at his residence, the RETIREMENT, with research on cosmic rays.

The institute was formally established at the M.G. Institute of Sciences, Ahmedabad, on November 11, 1947 with the support of the Karmkshetra Educational Foundation and the Ahmedabad Education Society. Professor Kalpathi Ramakrishna Ramanathan was the first director of the institute. The research areas were expanded to include theoretical physics and radio physics later with grants from the Atomic Energy Commission.

He led the family business conglomerate of Sarabhai. His interests varied from science to sports and statistics. He created the Operations Research Group (ORG), the first market research organization in the country. Together with his wife Mrinalini Sarabhai, he founded the Academy of Performing Arts in Darpana.


  • Padma Vibhushan
  • Padma Bhushan
  • Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for Science and Technology in Physical Sciences.
  • Indian Space Programmer


30 December 1971, Halcyon Castle, Thiruvananthapuram