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Rocket scientist S Somanath appointed as new ISRO chief

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Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced the appointment of the eminent rocket scientist Dr S Somanath as its new chairman and Space Secretary. He will succeed Kailasavadivoo Sivan who completes his extended tenure. The post of the ISRO chairman, the Space Secretary and the Space Commission chief is usually held by one person only.

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Experience of Dr S Somanath:

Mr Somanath is an expert in a host of disciplines including launch vehicle design and has specialised in launch vehicle systems engineering, structural design, structural dynamics, integration designs and procedures, mechanism design, and pyrotechnics. He is currently the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram. He was a team leader for the Integration of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) during the early phases of his career.

About Dr S Somanath:

  • Somanath, born in July 1963, graduated in Mechanical Engineering from Kerala University, with the second rank in the university; and completed his Post Graduation in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore with a Gold Medal for his meritorious performance.
  • He is the recipient of the Space Gold Medal from the Astronautical Society of India (ASI), Performance Excellence Award-2014 and Team Excellence Award-2014 for GSLV Mk-III realization, from ISRO.

Important takeaways for all competitive exams:

  • ISRO Headquarters: Bengaluru, Karnataka;
  • ISRO established: 15 August 1969.

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