NEW DELHI: The government has appointed S Somanath as the new chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Somanath will replace Kailasavadivoo Sivan after his tenure ends on January 14, 2022.
An order by the Ministry of Personnel said, “The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of Shri S. Somanath, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) to the post of Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, Space Commission for a combined tenure of three years from the date of joining of the post, inclusive of an extension in tenure beyond the age of superannuation in public interest. or until further orders Whichever is earlier.”
Who is S Somanath?
S Somanath is a well-known aerospace engineer and rocket scientist. His expertise include launch vehicle design, pyrotechnics, mechanical design and structural design. At present, Somanath is the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). He had played an important role in the Integration of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) earlier. He was born in July 1963.
S Somanath education and early career
Somanath studied at Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam and then went on to pursue his graduation in Mechanical Engineering from TKM College of Engineering under Kerala University. He has a Master’s Degree from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in Aerospace Engineering where he specialised in Dynamics and Control.
He had first joined Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in 1985 and later became the Associate Director (Projects) of VSSC. In 2010, he was also the Project Director of GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle. He also held the position of Deputy Director of Propulsion and Space Ordinance Entity till 2014. From 2015 to 2018, he was the Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) at Valiamala.
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His achievements include Space Gold Medal from the Astronautical Society of India (ASI) and ISRO has recognised his work with honours like Performance Excellence Award-2014 and Team Excellence Award-2014 for GSLV Mk-III.