Press Release

Prof U. R. Rao Among Ten International Space Personalities

By SpaceRef Editor
September 1, 2004
Filed under , ,

Space News, a very popular space weekly published from the US, has ranked
Prof U R Rao among the top ten international personalities who have made a
difference in civil, commerce and military space in the world since 1989.
Prof Rao, former Chairman of ISRO and presently Chairman of the Research
Council of Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, is widely regarded as
the man who guided India to the status of major space power, the Weekly says
in its August 23, 2004 issue. During his tenure, India developed its own
communication satellites, weather satellites, high resolution imaging
satellites and a polar satellite launch vehicle.

Joan Johnson Freese, an analyst of Asian space programmes and chair of the
department of national security decision making at the Naval War College in
Newport, USA says in the Weekly that one of the testaments to Rao’s skill is
that he built such a robust space programme in a democratic country, which
is much more difficult than in countries with autocratic rulers. Throughout
his career Prof Rao emphasized the importance of keeping the space programme
focused on technology that would aid the country’s development such as
imaging and communication satellites.

Today, with a maturing space industry, India is planning a science satellite
and even discussing the possibility of human space flight in a few decades,
the Space News says.

It may be noted that Prof Rao was unanimously elected to preside over the
United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer
Space (UNISPACE-III) held in Vienna in July 1999. On his being named as one
of the world space leaders, Prof Rao said that the credit indeed goes to the
larger space community in India who have toiled hard to make the Indian
space programme an outstanding success.

The others figuring in the top ten: Rene Auselmo, Daniel S Goldin, Norman R
Augustine, Adm Harold W Gehman, Donald Rumsfeld, U S Sen Barbara Mikulski,
Gen Thomas S Moorman, Romain Bausch, Rupert Murdoch.

SpaceRef staff editor.