Eminent Senior Rocket Scientist S Somanath Appointed As ISRO’s New Chairman; To Succeed K Sivan

ISRO Appoints Eminent Rocket Scientist S Somanath As New Chairman


  • Dr. S Somanath is currently the Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), will succeed K Sivan.
  • His appointment as Chairman of the Space Commission and Space Secretary is for a combined tenure of three-year term starting from the date of his joining.

The Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) announced a renowned rocket scientist, Dr. S Somanath’s appointment on Wednesday as its new chairman and Space Secretary. Dr. Somanath will replace Kailasavadivoo Sivan, who will end his extended tenure on Friday.

Dr. S Somanath was named Secretary of the Department of Space and Chairman of the Space Commission by the Centre on Wednesday. According to a Personnel Ministry order, his appointment is for a combined duration of three years from the date of joining the post, including a public-interest extension of tenure beyond the age of retirement. The positions of ISRO chairman, Space Secretary, and Space Commission chief are normally held by the same individual.

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Dr. Somanath is the current Director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Earlier in his career, he was a team leader on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Integration. In addition, on December 18, 2014, the first experimental flight of the LVM3-X/CARE mission was successfully completed under his leadership.

He is VSSC’s 10th chairman, took charge on January 22, 2018, after serving as the Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Valiamala, Thiruvananathapuram for two and a half years. He was formerly the Project Director of the GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle and Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre’s Associate Director (Projects).

Dr. Somanath specialises in launch vehicle system engineering, structural design, structural dynamics, integration designs and methods, mechanism design, and pyrotechnics.

Dr. Somanath was born in July 1963 and earned a B Tech in Mechanical Engineering from TKM College of Engineering in Kollam, as well as a Masters in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, with a speciality in structures, dynamics, and control. He received a gold medal for his contributions.

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Swastika Dubey
Swastika Dubey is a content writer who has a keen interest in politics, fashion, and lifestyle. She is a post-graduate in Economics and loves to listen to classic old Hindi songs and travel to new places in her leisure time. Her writing is well researched, covering important aspects and core of the topic covering crucial points.
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