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U.R. Rao among 'top 10 personalities'

By Our Special Correspondent



U.R. Rao

CHENNAI, AUG. 31. U.R. Rao, former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has been ranked by the U.S. magazine, Space News, among the top 10 international personalities who have made a difference in civil, commerce and military space in the world since 1989.

Prof. Rao, now Chairman of the Research Council of Physical Research Laboratory, Ahmedabad, guided India to the status of a major space power, the weekly says in its August 23, 2004 issue. During his tenure as the ISRO Chairman, India developed its own communication, weather and high-resolution imaging (remote-sensing) satellites, Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicles, and a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.

An ISRO press-release today quoted Joan Johnson Freese, an analyst of the Asian space programmes and chair of the department of national security decision-making at the Naval War College in Newport, U.S., as saying in the Space News that one of the testaments to Prof. Rao's skills was that he built such a robust space programme in a democratic country, which is much more difficult than in countries with autocratic rulers. Throughout his career, Prof. Rao emphasised the importance of keeping the space programme focussed on technology that would aid the country's development, which included weather, remote-sensing and communication satellites.

The others in the top 10 are: Rene Auselmo, Daniel S. Goldin, Norman R. Augustine, Admiral Harold W. Gehman, Donald Rumsfeld, U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, Gen. Thomas S. Moorman, Romain Bausch, and Rupert Murdoch.

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