Google Doodle of 12th August 2019 was special for two reasons – 100th Birthday of Vikram Sarabhai and launch of Chandrayaan2 Spacecraft.
The Doodle design
It has an image of young Dr. Vikram Sarabhai looking at the space. In the image, he looks bigger than the space emerging above the clouds. Also, there is moon below the image and the Chandrayaan2 Spacecraft on the right of the image. The Doodle is painted black-and-blue to make it look like space.
Instrumental in establishing Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Vikram Sarabhai is considered the father of India’s space programme. Born on 12th August 1919, Google with India celebrated birth centenary of Vikram Sarabhai.
Vikram Sarabhai belongs to Sarabhai family that was an industrialist family committed to the Indian independence movement. Sarabhai dedicated his life to the development of science and this is evident from his achievements.
After completing his education in Cambridge in 1947, Vikram Sarabhai returned to India with to establish the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL). The institution had a modest beginning at the residence of Vikram Sarabhai but it became the cradle of space research institutions in India.
Started with the help of charitable institutions including M.G. Science Institute, Ahmedabad and Karmkshetra Educational Foundation, PRL focused its research on cosmic rays and the properties of the upper atmosphere. Later the PRL researched theoretical physics and radio physics with the help Atomic Energy Commission.
Sarabhai led the family-owned business but his interests vary from science to statistics and sports. He set up following research institutes to pursue his interests.
• Operation Research Group (ORG) that became the first market research organization in the country
• Nehru Foundation for Development in Ahmedabad
• Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA)
• Ahmedabad Textile Industry’s Research Association (ATIRA)
• Darpana Academy of Performing Arts
• Faster Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) in Kalpakkam
• Variable Energy Cyclotron Project in Calcutta
• Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) in Hyderabad
• Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) in Jharkhand
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO)
It is a premium institution started by Vikram Sarabhai for the fabrication and launch of an Indian satellite. Considered the biggest achievement of Sarabhai, ISRO designed the first Indian satellite Aryabhata and successfullylaunched it in space and then put in its orbit in 1975. Aryabhata was launched from a Russian cosmodrome.
It is said that Vikram Sarabhai took inspiration from the successful launch of Russian Sputnik to start a space research organization of India. He went ahead with his idea of starting ISRO by educating the then Indian government about the importance of a space research organization. It was his idea that today India successfully launched Chandrayaan2 Spacecraft. The Chandrayaan2 would land on the moon on 7 September 2019.
Vikram Sarabhai was decorated with Padma Bhushan in 1966 and awarded Padma Vibhushan posthumously in 1972. But his achievements are far bigger than the awards and position he held in his lifetime. He left behind a legacy that is still guiding the space research programme of India.