Somanath, who is presently the Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, is set to become the 10th chairman of ISRO.

S Somanath speaking at an event at NASAImage credit: NASA
news Appointment Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 20:22

Senior scientist S Somanath has been appointed as the tenth chairman of the Indian Space and Research Organisation (ISRO), as well as the Secretary of the Department of Space, the Union government said on Wednesday, January 14. Presently the Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSCC), Somanath will succeed K Sivan, who completes his extended tenure on Friday, January 14.

Somanathan’s new appointment is 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, a Personnel Ministry order said. Somanath did his BTech from TKM College of Engineering in Kollam, Kerala, and proceeded to earn his Masters in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru, with specialisation in Dynamics and Control.. He graduated from MTech with a gold medal, according to the VSCC website. He then joined the VSCC in 1985, and since then, he has been part of several GSLV satellite projects.

At the ISRO, he has been associated with the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Project during its initial phase. Later, he became the Associate Director (Projects) of the VSSC and also the Project Director of the GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle in 2010. He was also the Deputy Director of Propulsion and Space Ordinance Entity till November 2014.

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In June 2015, he took over as Director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) at Valiamala, Thiruvananthapuram, and served there until January 2018. Somanath then took over as Director of VSSC from Sivan, who became Chairman of the ISRO and now he is all set to succeed him in the top post at ISRO as well.

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