New ISRO Chief

New ISRO Chief

New ISRO President: S. Somanath has been appointed as the new head of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).

The Cabinet Appointment Committee (ACC) approved the appointment of S. Somanath as Minister of Space Research and President of ISRO on 12 January 2022 for a total term of three years from the date of inauguration.

S Somanath is currently the director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC). He will replace K.Sivan as the new ISRO Chair. Kailasavadivoo Sivan completed his extended term on January 7, 2022.

Speaking on his appointment, Somanath said, "I am very happy to join as Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, Space Commission (ISRO). It is really an honor." Highlighting the areas of focus he said, "Areas of focus will be technology, policy, implementation & areas where stakeholders need to be taken care of. We need to bring in newer approaches; have to work with various capacity builders like tech companies."

Information about S Somanath

  • S. Somanath is currently Director of the Vikram Sarabaya Space Center (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala State. He also served Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) in Thiruvananthapuram.
  • He joined the Vikram Sarabaya Space Center in Thiruvananthapuram in 1985. It was initially part of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) project. Played an important role in the development of the PSLV and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (GSLV MkIII) currently used for launch.
  • He was the leader of the PSLV integration team during the first and successful second flight of PSLVD2 and early development. He was appointed as the Associate Director (Projects) of VSSC and Project Director of GSLV Mk III launch vehicle in 2010. He served as the Project Director of the GSLV Mk III launch vehicle till 2014.
  • He was also appointed as the Deputy Director of Propulsion and Space Ordinance Entity till November 2014, where he contributed to the development of the indigenous cryogenic stages for the GSLV. Somanath is famous for contributing to the development of projectiles. He is an expert in projectile system design, structural mechanics, structural engineering, and pyrotechnic engineering.
  • Appointed to the Space Center in January 2018. Vikram Sarabai on behalf of K. Sivan, appointed ISRO President. S. Somanath completed his degree program at Maharaja's College, Ernakulam. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from TKM Technical College, Kolam, University of Kerala.
  • Somanath holds a Master's degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, majoring in Mechanics and Controls.
  • K. Sivan succeeded Kiran Kumar as President of ISRO on 10 January 2018. Sivan is a renowned rocket scientist who joined ISRO in 1982 on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) project. He has made tremendous contributions to end-to-end mission planning, mission development, mission integration and analysis.