U.R. Rao, who led the country’s space programme between 1984 and 1994, has become the first Indian to be inducted into the prestigious Satellite Hall of Fame, Washington. He joins the elite company of Arthur C. Clarke and 49 other star space scientists.

He was conferred the rare honour on March 19 at a ceremony organised by the Society of Satellite Professionals International, a statement from the ISRO said on Thursday. Over 1,000 space scientists, industry leaders, administrators and professionals attended the glittering event.

Dr. Rao was Secretary, Department of Space, and the ISRO chairman for 10 years. Currently, he is the chairman of the governing council of the Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad.

The citation said Dr. Rao “ contributed to the development of space technology in India and its extensive application to communications and remote sensing of natural resources. More than any other single individual, Prof. Rao is responsible for the creation of India’s space and satellite capabilities and their application to the nation’s development.”

Starting with the first Indian satellite Aryabhata in 1975, over 20 satellites were designed and launched under his guidance and the rocket technology development was accelerated in India.

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