Dr Vikram Sarabhai's connection to Chandrayaan-3 | Photo: Twitter
All eyes across the globe are on India, as the nation prepares to carve history with Chandrayaan-3 advancing smoothly and likely to touch down in a few hours on the Moon's south pole. Ever wondered why – the lander, which is equipped with payloads like Chandra's Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE) for measuring thermal properties, is named ‘Vikram?’
The technologically advanced Lander of Chandrayaan-3-is named after Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai, the Father of the Indian space programme. The Lander and the Rover have scientific payloads to carry out experiments on the lunar surface-- which is 'Vikarm Lander' for India's Moon Mission.
With the success of the desired lunar landing, India will become the first nation to successfully land a rover on the Moon's south pole. So far, the US, Russia and China are the only three nations which have reached the moon, however none of them has been able to land on the south pole of the lunar surface.
Aligning with the feats of the scientist, it is named after—‘Vikram Lander’ boasts several advanced technologies, including Laser and RF-based Altimeters, Laser Doppler Velocimeter, Lander Horizontal Velocity Camera, and a Hazard Detection and Avoidance system with a dedicated camera and processing algorithm, according to ISRO.
Indian physicist and astronomer Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai, the Father of the Indian space programme, was an institution-builder and the man who envisioned the establishment of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Besides ISRO, he also helped establish a large number of institutions in diverse fields.
The 28-year-old Vikram Sarabhai founded the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad on November 11, 1947 soon after returning from Cambridge to an independent India. He was instrumental in establishing the 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, Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad (This institution came into existence after merging six institutions/centres established by Vikram Sarabhai), Faster Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR), Kalpakkam, Varaiable Energy Cyclotron Project, Calcutta, Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), Hyderabad and Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL), Jaduguda, Bihar.
Sarabhai was a creator and cultivator of institutions and PRL was the first step in that direction. The Indian scientist served in the PRL from 1966-1971.
Sarabhai is the man behind the establishment of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He successfully convinced the government of the importance of a space programme for a developing country like India after the Russian Sputnik launch. Sarabhai always emphasised the importance of a space programme.
The space agency of India — Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is involved in science, engineering and technology to harness the benefits of outer space for India and mankind. ISRO is a major constituent of the Department of Space (DOS), Government of India. The department executes the Indian space programme primarily through various centres within the Indian space agency.
With the escalation of the Second World War, Sarabhai returned to India and joined the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore and began research in cosmic rays under the guidance of Sir CV Raman, a Nobel Prize winner.
He returned to Cambridge after the war in 1945 and was awarded a PhD degree in 1947 for his thesis titled 'Cosmic Ray Investigation in Tropical Latitudes'.