Dr. Vikram Sarabhai: Father Of The Indian Space Programme

Vikram Sarabhai

Born into a very rich and politically aware business family, the boy, Vikram made the impossible possible. Yes, this is none other than Dr. Vikram Sarabhai. Subsequently, Sarabhai is referred to be the “Indian Space Program Father.” He has done many great works for his own country India and even today his memories are alive in the hearts of people. 

Well, today through this article we will tell the biography of Vikram Sarabhai. Along with this, we will share who is he, his education, achievements and other aspects related to his life.


Now, moving forward let’s talk about the complete biography:

Full Name Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai
Nick NameVikram Sarabhai
Date of Birth August 12, 1919
Birth placeAhmedabad, India
Death dateDecember 30, 1971
Death PlaceKovalam
Age (at the time of death)52 years
Father’s Name Ambalal Sarabhai 
Mother’s NameSarla Devi
Spouse NameMrinaline Sarabhai
Children Daughter: Mallika Sarabhai Son: Kartikeya Sarabhai
Nationality Indian

About ISRO Founder Vikram Sarabhai 

Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai was born on 12 August 1919 in a Gujarati industrialist family in Ahmedabad, India. He was an Indian physicist and astronomer who founded the Space Research Organization. Vikram has achieved many achievements due to which he is also considered the father of the space program. On 30 December 1971, he left this world due to a heart attack in Kovalam, Thiruvananthapuram. And he remained a memory in everyone’s hearts.

Early Life 

He enjoyed his childhood with privilege and never felt any lack. He received all the education he wanted. From a young age, Sarabhai was a very curious child and had a keen interest in science and mathematics. Sarabhai completed his primary education from India and then went abroad for further studies.

Vikram Sarabhai Education Career 

  • Gujarat College in Ahmedabad is where he completed his schooling.
  • After this, Sarabhai went to England in 1940. From here he took a Tripos degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University. However, he was forced to return to India due to the Second World War.
  • After coming to India, Vikram did research on cosmic rays under Sir Chandrashekhar Venkat Raman from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (Bengaluru).
  • In 1945, he went back to Cambridge for his further studies for doctorate. In 1947, Dr. Sarabhai wrote a thesis. This thesis title was “Investigation of cosmic rays in tropical latitudes”.
  • After completing his studies, he returned to India and then established the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad.

Vikram’s Invention

A project started by Sarabhai for the fabrication and launched of an Indian Satellite. Thus, the first Indian Satellite, Aaryabhata, was put in a loop in 1975 from a Russian Cosmodrome.


Born into a gujarati industrialist family, Vikram’s father’s name was Ambalal Sarabhai who was an industrialist, philanthropist as well as the founder of the Sarabhai Group of companies.

And his mother’s name was Sarla Devi. He was the eighth child of his parents.

Vikram Sarabhai Wife

He married with Mrinalini in 1942. Mrinalini was a classical dancer and was a renowned dancer of her time. The two were in deep love. They lived a very happy married life. Vikram, along with his wife Mrinalini Sarabhai, founded the Darpan Academy of Performing Arts.

Vikram and Mrinalini have two children. Mallika Sarabhai, their activist and actor daughter. Their son, Karthikeya, one of the world’s leading environmentalist educators. He is a passionate community builder as well.

Vikram Sarabhai Death 

Vikram Sarabhai Death date is December 30, 1971, Sarabhai was scheduled to inspect the SLV design on that day in Halcyon Castle Trivandrum, Thiruvananthapuram and leave for Bombay that evening. He had had a phone conversation with A. P. J. Abdul Kalam. An hour into the discussion, 52-year-old Sarabhai of Trivandrum (now Thiruvananthapuram) passed away from heart arrest.

Some Important Works Done by Sarabhai

  • After he completed his studies and returned to India, sarabhai did some important work in the field of education and research.
  • Sarabhai was instrumental in the establishment of Ahmedabad’s Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in 1947. 
  • Dr. Vikram established the Community Science Center under the aegis of the Nehru Foundation for Development. This center later came to be known as Vikram A. Sarabhai Community Science Center.
  • In 1962, Sarabhai served as the President of the Physics Section of the Indian Science Congress.
  • In 1966, he was designated as the Atomic Energy Commission’s chairman. This appointment was given to him under the Government of India.
  • From 1962 to 1969, Vikram served as the Chairman of the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR).
  • From 1969 to 1971, he was appointed as the first Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
  • He served as the President of the International Atomic Energy Agency in 1970.
  • In 1971, Dr. Sarabhai was the Vice-President of the Fourth United Nations Conference on the ‘Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy.

Institutions Established by Dr Vikram Sarabhai

If we talk about the institutions which were established by him. Then the list of these institutions is as follows:

  • He established Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in 1969.
  • Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA).
  • Dr. Vikram founded Operations Research Group (ORG), the country’s first market research agency.   
  • Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT).
  • Ahmedabad Textile Industries Research Association (ATIRA).
  • Blind Men’s Association (BMA).
  • He established the Faster Breeder Test Reactor (FBTR) at Kalpakkam in Tamil Nadu.
  • Established Variable Energy Cyclotron Project in Calcutta.
  • Formed Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) in Hyderabad.
  • Formed Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) in Jharkhand.
  • Sarabhai founded Darpana Academy of Performing Arts with his wife Mrinalini Sarabhai.


  • In 1962, he received the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Award.
  • Additionally, he received the Padma Bhushan in 1966 as a mark of honor.
  • In 1972, He was posthumously honored with the Padma Vibhushan.

Unknown Facts About Vikram

In my opinion some of the interesting facts about Vikram which are probably not known by many people are given below:

  • Sarabhai was a person with a strong passion for culture.
  • He was also very fond of music, photography, archaeology, fine arts, etc.
  • Sarabhai did not find the state of science education in the country appropriate. So, to improve this, he established the Community Science Centre.
  • Since Dr. Sarabhai founded the Indian National Committee for Space Research, he is called the “Father of the Indian Space Programme”.
  • One of his most important accomplishments was founding ISRO.


Finally, we can conclude that Vikram Sarabhai was a great scientist. It was through him that the culture of scientific inquiry and research expanded in India. This inspired many young people to move forward in the field of science and technology. Since, this is very inspiring. Dr. Sarabhai’s tireless efforts and his education and the great work done by him inspire people in life. The great work done by him has kept his memory alive in the hearts of people even today.


All the details given above about Dr. Vikram Ambalal Sarabhai are well researched and provided for informational and educational purposes only. Our motive is to provide safe, secure and legal information only.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Ques: What is Vikram Sarabhai’s contribution to ISRO?

Ans: The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) was established in 1969 by him. So, this was his most important contribution to India.

Ques: When and how did Vikram Sarabhai die?

Ans: Sarabhai died of a heart attack in Kovalam on 30 December 1971. He left this world at the age of just 52.

Ques: Where is Vikram Space Center located and what are its functions?

Ans: His space center is located in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. It is one of the Indian Space Research Organization’s (ISRO) principal space research facilities. This center launches rockets for India’s satellite program. It also focuses on space vehicles.

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