Satish Dhawan

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Prof. Satish Dhawan

Prof. Satish Dhawan was an Indian rocket scientist born in Srinagar on 25 September 1920. He completed his graduation from the University of Punjab in Lahore(present-day Pakistan) and later went for higher studies to the United States. He was a Mathematician and an Aerospace engineer
considered by Indian Scientific community as the “Father of Experimental Fluid Dynamics”. He was one of the eminent researchers in the field of Turbulence and boundary layers who later led some of the successful and the indigenous developed Indian Space Programme.

He became the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) in 1972 succeeding its first and founder Chairman Vikram Sarabhai. He was also appointed as the Chairman of Space Commission and Secretary to Government of India in the Department of Science. Under his leadership, the Indian Space Programme went through remarkable progress and witnessed some spectacular achievements.

He was also a Professor at the Indian Institute of Science(IISc) at Bangalore and continued his research in boundary layer flows, 3-D boundary layers & trisonic flows. He is known for setting up the first supersonic wind tunnel in India at the IISc-Bangalore.

Prof. Satish Dhawan also carried out experiments in rural education, remote sensing and satellite communication. This led to the development of some operational systems like Indian National Satellite System(INSAT)- a telecommunication satellite, the Indian Remote Sensing Satellite(IRS) and
the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle(PSLV)-commonly used today to launch major satellites in the space by ISRO.

India lost its one of the gem in the Indian Space Programme on 3 January 2002 when Prof. Satish Dhawan breathed his last at Bangalore. To mark his contribution to the Indian Space Programme, the Indian satellite launch centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh was renamed to Prof. Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

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