Vikram Sarabhai

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Ahmedabad, India
Birth Sign
Ahmedabad, India

Vikram Sarabhai, affectionately known as the “Father of the Indian Space Program,” was a man well ahead of his time. He was born into an affluent Indian business family and had the opportunity to receive all of the schoolings he desired. Sarabhai has had a strong interest in science and mathematics since he was a child. He was an inquisitive child who enjoyed discovering new things. He traveled abroad for further studies after completing his primary schooling in India. During his time in England, he became captivated with science and everything it had to offer. By the time he returned to India, he was dead set on doing something useful for the country. At the age of eighteen, he began studying cosmic rays.

Childhood and Adolescence

He was one of eight children born to Ambalal and Sarla Devi in the Gujarati city of Ahmedabad. His family was well-to-do, owning and operating multiple textile mills.
He traveled to England for further study after passing the intermediate Science examination at Gujarat College in Ahmedabad. He studied at the University of Cambridge’s St. John’s College, where he earned a Tripos in Natural Sciences in 1940.

He returned to India and began research on cosmic rays at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. On the suggestion of prominent scientist C.V. Raman, he went ahead and did it. ‘Time Distribution of Cosmic Rays,’ his first scientific publication, was published in

The career of Vikram Sarabhai

He returned to India shortly after the country had gained independence. Sarabhai persuaded the charitable trusts his family managed to create The Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad in November 1947, recognizing the country’s need for stronger scientific facilities.
PRL was founded by K.R. Ramanathan, an atmospheric scientist, and under his skilled leadership, the institution grew to become a premier research center focused on cosmic rays and space sciences.

He was the founder and first director of the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Ahmedabad, the country’s second IIM. He was instrumental in the establishment of the institute of learning in 1961, together with businessman Kasturbhai Lalbhai.

In 1962, he was the main force behind the establishment of the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology University (CEPT University), which offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in architecture, planning, and technology.

He established the Nehru Foundation for Development (NFD) in 1965, which is dedicated to promoting basic research on contemporary social and individual development issues.

He also founded the Vikram A. Sarabhai Community Science Centre (VASCSC) in the 1960s to promote science and math education among students and the general public. The goal of the organization was to pique the public’s interest in science.

Dr. Homi Bhabha, a pioneer in the field of nuclear research in India, backed Sarabhai wholeheartedly in his endeavors. Bhabha assisted Sarabhai in establishing the first rocket launching facility at Thumba, on the Arabian Sea coast. The first flight took place on November 21, 1963.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which he helped to establish in 1969, was his most significant contribution to India. The organization’s main goal is to enhance space technology and put it to use for national good.

Major Projects of Vikram Sarabhai

For his contributions to the field of space science, Vikram Sarabhai is known as the “Father of the Indian Space Program.” He established the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), which grew to become the world’s largest government space agency.

Achievements & Awards

This scientist received two of India’s highest honors for his pioneering efforts in space science: the Padma Bhushan (1966) and the Padma Vibhushan (1997). (awarded posthumously in 1972).

Personal History and Legacy

In 1942, he married Mrinalini, a well-known classical dancer. They had two children together. Mallika and Karthikeya, his daughter and son, were well-known in their own right.

His marriage was reportedly problematic, and he was supposed to be dating Dr. Kamala Choudhary.

On December 30, 1971, he died unexpectedly. It was never discovered what caused his death.

Estimated Net Worth

The Estimated net worth of Vikram Sarabhai is around $1.5 Million.


This brilliant scientist founded Operations Research Group (ORG), India’s first market research firm.