Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Biography And Organizations

dr vikram sarabhai

Vikram Sarabhai is a very significant figure when it comes to India’s space program and research. He is the reason why India has excelled in its space exploration and has marked itself on the international map. Vikram Sarabhai, full name Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai was born on 12 August 1919 in Ahmedabad. He was a Physicist, Astronomer and Industrialist and is known as the father of Indian Space Research.

Dr. Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai was one of the greatest scientists and industrialists who has established many institutions and organizations in India.

Vikram Sarabhai Education

In 1942, Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai released “Time Distribution of Cosmic Rays” as his first research paper. In 1945 he went back to Cambridge for further research on Cosmic Rays and earned a PhD for his thesis “Cosmic Ray Investigations in Tropical Latitudes” in 1947.

Vikram Sarabhai Family

Vikram Sarabhai father name was Ambalal Sarabhai who was a successful businessman and philanthropist and his mother was Sarla Devi. Vikram Sarabhai wife was a famous classical dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai, and had two children, the name of Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai son is Kartikeya Sarabhai, and Vikram Sarabhai daughter is Mallika Sarabhai.

In 1966, Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai was awarded the Padma Bhushan, and in 1972, he received the Padma Vibhushan (posthumously). Vikram Sarabhai death cause was cardiac arrest, he died at the age of 52 on 30 December 1971 in Trivandrum (now Thiruvananthapuram). His body was cremated in Ahmedabad.

Vikram Sarabhai Information

Full nameVikram Ambalal Sarabhai
Born12 August 1919
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge (BA and PhD)
Vikram Sarabhai wifeMrinalini Sarabhai
AwardsPadma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan
Death30 December 1971
Death CauseCardiac Arrest

Vikram Sarabhai Achievements

  • On November 11, 1947 at the age of 28 he established Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad with an initial focus on Cosmic Rays.
  • Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai also established the very first market research organization in the country, Operations Research Group (ORG).
  • He was appointed as the chairman of Atomic Energy Commission of India after the death of physicist Homi Bhabha in 1966.
  • Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai founded the Space Applications Centre and served as the chairman.
  • Vikram Sarabhai served as the president of the General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.
  • Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai was appointed as the vice president of the 4thUN Conference on “Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy.”
Dr Vikram Sarabhai and Dr Paine Sign a Satellite Agreement
Credit : NASA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Vikram Sarabhai Organizations Founded

Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai had a wide range of interests. Other than science, space he was interested in music, fine arts, pharmaceutical and was actively involved in industries, business, and establishing institutions in diverse fields. Let’s have a look at different Vikram Sarabhai organizations founded.

Vikram Sarabhai organizations founded are :

  • In 1965 Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai set up the Nehru Foundation for Development in Ahmedabad which is a charitable trust for rural development and environment awareness.
  • He set up the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad in 1961 which was given the status of Institute of National Importance by the government.
  • In 1947 Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai also founded Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association which is the largest association for textile research.
  • In 1949 with Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai his wife established Darpana Academy of Performing Arts which has been directed by their daughter Mallika Sarabhai for the last three decades.
  • Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai developed the Fast Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) located in Kalpakkam, Tamil Nadu which is used to study different nuclear technologies.
  • Among the Vikram Sarabhai organizations founded, he started the Variable Energy Cyclotron Project (VECP) established in Calcutta in 1972. VECP’s main focus is to develop particle accelerators and technologies for nuclear research, medical applications, etc.
  • Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai founded the Space Application Centre which was formed in 1972 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. One of the main centers of ISRO dedicated to space technology.
  • On 11 April 1967 Sarabhai founded Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) in Hyderabad to build a strong domestic electronic industry.
  • In 1967 Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai also founded Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) in Jaduguda, Jharkhand.

Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre

Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai was also supported by Homi Bhabha an Indian nuclear physicist who is known as the father of the Indian Nuclear Programme. Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai and Homi Bhabha both made necessary developments in accordance with space research in India. The first rocket launch site in India was set up at Thumba, close to Thiruvananthapuram, on the Arabian Sea coast, with the support of Homi Bhabha.

Vikram Sarabhai’s first rocket launch was a sounding rocket named Nike-Apache and was launched on 21 November 1963 from the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS). The launch of Nike-Apache was a success which paved the way for many space programmes, advanced rockets and achievements in the coming years.

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC)


Is Vikram Sarabhai founder of ISRO?

ISRO was one of his greatest achievement.

Were Vikram Sarabhai and Bhabha friends?

Yes both were good friends and collegues.

Who made first rocket in India?

Vikram Sarabhai is the father of the Indian Space Programme.

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