Dr. S. Somanath appointed as new ISRO Chairman

Dr. S. Somanath appointed as new ISRO Chairman
Photo Credit: Dr Jitendra Singh Twitter handle
13 Jan, 2022

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has appointed Dr. S. Somanath as its new Chairman and Secretary Department of Space. The eminent rocket scientist is the 10th chairman of the premier space organisation and his tenure will be of three years. He will succeed Dr. Kailasavadivoo Sivan, who completes his extended tenure on 14 January.    

As per ISRO, Dr. 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.  

“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 orders whichever is earlier,” ISRO said in a statement.  

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Until his appointment, Somanath was serving as the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram and was also the Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Thiruvananthapuram. Prior to that, he had also served as the Associate Director (Projects) of VSSC and was also as the Project Director of GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle.  

Minister of state (MoS) of the Department of Science and Technology Jitendra Singh, congratulated Dr. Somanath on Twitter. “Congratulations Dr S. Somanath for being appointed as the new Chairman #ISRO & Secretary Department of Space. With historic Space missions, including India’s first manned mission #Gaganyaan, in the pipeline, you are destined to perform an eventful inning,” the tweet read.  

Somanath did his BTech in Mechanical Engineering from TKM College of Engineering, Kollam, Kerala University and later Master's Degree in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore with specialisation in Dynamics and Control. Post his masters, he joined Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation in 1985.