Dr. Abdul Kalam is distinguished for his contributions in the field of rocket engineering. He established the Rocket Engineering Division in Thumba and particularly important system needed in this field such as pyrotechnic, composite material technology and reinforced plastics etc. He worked on the early single stage Menaka-l and Menaka-ll Rockets, Rocket Assisted Take-off Motors and Flight Test of Controlled Rohini RH-560 Rockets.
He was Project Director of the Satellite Launch Vehicle (SLV-3) which was completed in a 7-year time frame. Thereafter, he worked as Director of Aerospace Dynamics and Design Group of VSSC, Trivandrum and also Director, ISRO Launch Vehicles/Systems at ISRO HQ, Bangalore. These assignments were directed towards the design and development of advanced technology elements for launch vehicles/systems. This was a pioneering achievement involving indigenous launch vehicle design capabilities and project management for high technology complex space projects. About a hundred national institutions and industries were involved in project realisation.
Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam is given Shri Om Prakash Bhasin Awards for 1986 in the field of Space and Aerospace for his pioneering achievements involving indigenous design of space vehicles & rockets which has great potential to take India into the outer space.