Who Is S Somanath, Kerala Scientist To Be Appointed New ISRO Chief | Your 10-Point Guide

Dr S Somanath, a rocket scientist and an Indian aerospace engineer, is all set to take over as the new Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Published: January 12, 2022 7:42 PM IST

By India.com News Desk | Edited by Snigdha Choudhury

Who Is S Somanath, Kerala Scientist To Be Appointed New ISRO Chief | Your 10-Point Guide
The Centre on Wednesday appointed S Somanath as the Secretary of the Department of Space and the Chairman of the Space Commission. (Photo: Twitter/@vijayanpinarayi)

New Delhi: Dr S Somanath, a rocket scientist and an Indian aerospace engineer, was appointed as the new Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Somanath will succeed K Sivan, who completes his extended tenure on Friday, January 14.

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The Centre on Wednesday appointed S Somanath as the Secretary of the Department of Space and the Chairman of the Space Commission. His 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: All you need to know about new ISRO chief

  • Somanath, who is currently Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in the Kerala state capital, will be fourth Keralite to occupy the topmost post in the Indian space sector.
  • The previous Malayalees who have held the top post are K. Kasturirangan, G. Madhavan Nair, and K. Radhakrishnan.
  • Somanath’s new appointment is for a combined tenure of three years from the date of joining of the post.
  • Sivan was given a year’s extension and his term is set to end very soon and Somnath’s name was cleared for the top office way back in 2019 itself, by virtue of his seniority in the ISRO hierarchy.
  • Somanath completed his Pre Degree from the Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam and did mechanical engineering from the TKM College of Engineering, Kollam, near Thiruvananthapuram, and in 1985 joined the VSSC centre here and has had no reason to look back after that.
  • Somanath later did his Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore with specialisation in Dynamics and Control.
  • At the ISRO, Somanath has been associated with the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Project during its initial phase.
  • Later Somanath 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.
  • In June 2015, Somanath 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 too.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published Date: January 12, 2022 7:42 PM IST