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Rocket scientist S Somanath named as ISRO chairman

He will succeed Dr K Sivan, who completes his extended tenure on 14 January.

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Mumbai: Well-known rocket scientist S Somanath is named as chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He will succeed Dr K Sivan, who completes his extended tenure on 14 January.

“The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of 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 the public interest, or until further order whichever is earlier,” said the space organisation in a statement.  

Somanath's expertise lies in the area of system engineering of launch vehicles. He joined Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) project in 1985. He served as associate director (projects) at the VSSC and as project director of the GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle. He also spent two-and-a-half years as director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) at Thiruvananthapuram’s Valiamala.

Somanath pursued his B-tech in mechanical engineering from Kollam’s TKM College of Engineering and Masters in aerospace engineering from IIT Bengaluru with specialisation in structures, dynamics and control. 

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