Renowned Indian space scientist Udupi Ramachandra Rao -- the brains behind India's first satellite Aryabhatta -- died at 85 on Monday. Rao was involved in all of India's key space programmes.
The land that Sarabhai zeroed in on belonged to a chuch. When he and his colleagues went to the Bishop of Thiruvananthapuram to speak to him about acquiring the land, the bishop replied that they should attend his Sunday mass.
Thumba is now called the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.
India finally hopes to position itself as a low-cost alternative for countries wanting to put satellites in space.
But there is still a long way to go.
According to a Space Foundation report, the global space industry in 2015 was valued at $323 billion and India accounted for just 0.6 percent of that business.