Was diagnosed with cancer during Aditya-L1 solar mission: ISRO chief Somnath

ISRO chief Somnath added that he has resumed duties as the cancer was now “completely cured.”
ISRO Chairman S Somnath
ISRO Chairman S Somnath
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In a recent interview, Indian Space Research Organisation Chief S Somanath revealed that he was diagnosed with cancer ahead of the launch of Aditya-L1, which was India’s first solar mission, in September 2023. 

Somnath told Tarmak Media House that he had faced some health issues during the Chandrayaan-3 mission and came to know about a lump in his stomach that required surgery and chemotherapy during the launch of Aditya-L1. He said that he travelled to Chennai to get the scans done and that the surgery and treatment procedure had to be done while overseeing work for the solar mission.

“There were some health issues during the Chandrayaan-3 mission launch. However, it was not clear to me at the time, I did not have a clear understanding about it. Now I see cancer and its treatment as a solution," he was quoted as saying by IANS. He added that he has resumed duties as the cancer was now “completely cured.”

Under Somnath’s leadership ISRO brought India the prestige of being the only country in the world to have successfully landed a lunar probe near the moon’s South Pole. Chandrayaan 3 also made India one of four countries to have accomplished a soft landing on the moon’s surface. The Aditya L1 was also a landmark for India, making it the first solar observatory to reach its destination. 

The Aditya L1’s primary objective was to study solar upper atmospheric (chromosphere and corona) dynamics, the study of chromospheric and coronal heating, physics of the partially ionised plasma, and initiation of the coronal mass ejections, and flares.

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