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Facts And Contribution Of Vikram Sarabhai – Father Of Indian Space Program

Father of Indian space program
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India has been constantly excelling in the field of Space Research. To make India reach such heights of excellence, several scientists have contributed to its glory, especially the unforgettable contributions of Vikram Sarabhai. But who was Vikram Sarabhai? Vikram Sarabhai, popularly known as the father of Indian Space program, understood the need for a space research program in India and made the nation believe in the role of space research in the development of the nation. He established the first space center in India. In his honour, it was named Vikram Sarabhai Space Center. This article will share the details regarding the same including some interesting facts about Vikram Sarabhai.

Not only in space research, but he also played an important role in enhancing the quality of management education by laying the foundation of the Indian Institute of Management. This is one lesser-known fact about Vikram Sarabhai. 

Who was Vikram Sarabhai

Who Was Vikram Sarabhai? 

Do many people wonder who was Vikram Sarabhai? The answer to this question is that he was the man who made the nation realize the need for the Space Research program for sustainable development. Vikram Sarabhai was an Indian physicist and astronomer, who initiated space research and helped develop nuclear power in India, and became the father of Indian space program.

Vikram Sarabhai Biography 

Early Life

Vikram Sarabhai was born on 12 August 1919. He belonged to the famous family of Sarabhai, his father, Ambalal Sarabhai was one of the major industrialists. His family was committed to the Indian Independence Movement and the development of the nation. 


Vikram Sarabhai completed his early education in Gujarat but later went to the University of Cambridge to pursue an honours degree in Natural Sciences in 1940. He pursued his PhD at Cambridge itself, “Cosmic Ray Investigations in Tropical Latitudes” as his thesis subject in 1947. 


Vikram Sarabhai married classical dancer Mrinalini in 1942 and the couple was blessed with two children. His daughter, Mallika followed in the footsteps of her mother and became a prominent actress and activist while his son, Kartikeya became an active science person. 

Continue reading to learn about the contributions of Vikram Sarabhai, some facts about him, and the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center.

Contributions Of Vikram Sarabhai – Father Of Indian Space Program

Upon his return, Vikram Sarabhai founded the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad in 1947. The primary focus of this research centre was on cosmic rays. Later the research areas expanded according to the interest. Not only in science-related fields but the contributions of Vikram Sarabhai can also be seen in varied interests from sports to art. 

Sarabhai worked in founding the institutes like Ahmedabad Textile Industry Research Association (ATIRA), Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA), and Darpana Academy of Performing Art. He initiated various programs including the Variable Energy Cyclotron Project, Fast Breeder Test Reactor, Electronics Corporation of India Limited, and Uranium Corporation of India Limited. 

After the launch of the Russian satellite Sputnik, Vikram Sarabhai became vocal about the importance of Space Research and convinced the government to establish the Indian Space Research Organization. He was actively supported by Homi J. Bhabha for setting up the first-ever rocket launching station. For his efforts in the space research program, he came to be known as the father of Indian Space program. One of the largest space centers of ISRO was named after Vikram Sarabhai in his honour. The Vikram Sarabhai space center actively focuses on rockets and space vehicles for satellites. 

Vikram Sarabhai space center

Awards And Honors Of Vikram Sarabhai – Death And Legacy

Vikram Sarabhai, the father of Indian space program, was conferred with several titles and awards. Contributions of Vikram Sarabhai include presidentship of Physics authority in Indian Science Congress and vice-presidentship for the 4th UN Conference on Peaceful uses of Atomic Energy. He was also the president of the general conference at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. 

Facts about Vikram Sarabhai include the honours he has received, including the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan medals and the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award. Vikram Sarabhai took his last breath at the age of 52 on the 30th of December 1971. He died due to cardiac arrest and was cremated in Ahmedabad. 

Facts about Vikram Sarabhai

Facts About Vikram Sarabhai

  • He is the founder of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
  • Not only science, but he also founded the Indian Institute of Management to promote management studies and the Darpana Academy of Performing Art to promote arts.
  • It was his efforts that led to the launch of India’s first satellite, Aryabhata.
  • He served as the chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission of India.
  • In his honour, one of the greatest space centers of ISRO was named after him, Vikram Sarabhai Space Center.
  • One of the lesser-known facts about Vikram Sarabhai includes that he was awarded the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is Vikram Sarabhai famously known as?

Vikram Sarabhai is famously known as the father of Indian Space Program.

2. Where is Vikram Sarabhai Space Center located?

Vikram Sarabhai Space Center is in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. 

3. Is Vikram Sarabhai the founder of ISRO?

Yes, Vikram Sarabhai is the founder of ISRO.

4. What is Vikram Sarabhai’s role in ISRO?

He was the founder of ISRO.

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