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Sastry, TSG (Thyamagondlu Shankarasastry Gopalakrishna Sastry)



Thyamagondlu Shankarasastry Gopalakrishna Sastry was born on 8th July, 1923. He completed his BSc in 1945 from the then University of Mysore in Bangalore, after which he obtained a diploma in Radio Technology in 1947. His first stint at the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) was as a Technical Assistant in 1948, servicing and constructing radio equipment used in cosmic ray research. Following this, he completed his MSc in Electronics in 1953 from Gujarat University and continued working at the Physical Research Laboratory as a Junior Research Assistant from 1954-1958. While in charge of the Kodaikanal outstation of the PRL, he worked to set up a cosmic ray laboratory with meson telescopes. The analysis of cosmic ray data during this time contributed to Sastry's PhD thesis at the Physical Research Laboratory, on cosmic ray investigations at low latitudes, under the supervision of Vikram Sarabhai. Sastry then spent two years at the University of California, Berkeley, working with K.A. Anderson and his group, on instrumentation for the Solar Cosmic Ray Experimental package for EGO Satellite.

As a Research Associate in Physics at the University of New Hampshire, he worked in collaboration with NASA Goddard on a project involving the construction, testing, and launching of proton-precession magnetometer payloads, used to study the equatorial electrojet.

Upon returning to India in 1964, he became a faculty member at the Physical Research Laboratory, and worked as a Project Scientist at the Indian National Committee for Space Research (INCOSPAR). He worked on the design, construction and launch of magnetometer payloads, carried on sounding rockets, with the aim of analysing data from the equatorial electrojet at Thumba, Trivandrum. During his time at INCOSPAR, he also worked on the programme to launch Langmuir probes in collaboration with NASA.

Sastry represented PRL and INCOSPAR at many international meetings and symposia, including the COSPAR symposia in London in 1967, and in Prague in 1969. He was a member of the delegation to the Commonwealth Consultative Space Research Committee meeting, held at Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), in 1968. In addition to his work in the United States, he also initiated experiments in collaboration with scientists in France and the United Kingdom. His first academic paper was published in 1955, and his last in 1980, with a total of 27 papers to his credit. T.S.G. Sastry died on October 29, 2017 of natural causes. He was married to Lalitha Sastry and had five children.

This collection is valuable for understanding some of the early histories of space research in India, and organisations that would eventually serve as the foundation for the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).