The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) has selected Rajya Sabha member and former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairman K Kasturirangan for the prestigious Theodore Von Karman award for this year.
The award will be presented to Kasturirangan, one of the country's top scientists, in Hyderabad on Monday on the first-day of the 58th International Astronautical Congress.
The Theodore Von Karman award is the highest distinction of the IAA given annually to recognise outstanding lifetime achievements in any branch of science.
The award, instituted in 1987 in the memory of the legendary Theodore Von Karman, aerospace scientist and founder-president of IAA, is being given to Kasturirangan for his contribution to the Indian space programme, including the development of launch vehicles and satellite technology, applications in remote-sensing, communications and education that have benefited the society.
Kasturirangan, also the director of the National Institute of Advance Studies (NIAS), has been a part of many international bodies, including IAA and the committee on earth observation satellites.
Among the recipients of the award in the previous years are former ISRO chairman UR Rao, Charles S Draper (US), Reimar Lust (Germany), William H Pickering (US), Sir Arthur C Clark (UK), Hubert Curien (France), Minoru Oda (Japan) and Jacques E Blamont (France).
Last year, Kasturirangan was appointed as an academician of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Rome and was conferred an honorary fellowship by Cardiff University in Britain.