The Centre on Wednesday appointed the Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC) and rocket scientist S Somanath as the new chief of the Indian Space and Research Organization (ISRO).
He has been appointed as Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman of the Space Commission for a three-year term.
Graduated in mechanical engineering from TKM College of Engineering, Kollam, and a Master’s degree holder in aerospace engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and a Gold medalist, Somnath is a Malayali scientist who joined VSSC in 1985. He was project manager of GSLV Mk-III from June 2010 to 2014.
He has worked extensively on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLG) programmes.
He played a key role in three successful missions of GSLV with indigenous cryogenic stages and eleven successful missions of PSLV with the liquid stages realized by LPSC.
Somnath is known for his contributions to launch vehicle design, particularly in the areas of launch vehicle systems engineering, structural design, structural dynamics, and pyrotechnics.
Under his leadership, the first experimental flight of the CARE mission was successfully accomplished on December 18, 2014.
In June 2015, Somnath was named director of ISRO's Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Thiruvananthapuram.
S Somnath has been serving as the director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) since January 2018.
He is also the recipient of the Space Gold Medal from Astronautical Society of India (ASI), Performance Excellence Award-2014 and Team Excellence Award-2014 for GSLV Mk-III realization, from ISRO.
(with sources inputs)
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