ISRO has a new chief. 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. Also Read - From Gaganyaan to Venus, here are ISRO's space missions for the year 2022
He has been appointed as ISRO chief for a combined tenure of three years from the date of joining the post. Somnath will be succeeding K Sivan, who will be completing his extended tenure as chief on 14 January 2022. Sivan was appointed as chief of ISRO in January 2018. Despite his three-year tenure ending in 2021, he was given an extension of one year. Also Read - Starlink satellite broadband service faces challenge in India, Elon Musk led company questioned
Who is Dr. S. Somnath?
Dr. Somnath was born in 1963 and he did his graduation in Mechanical Engineering from Kerala University. He achieved the second position in the university. He then went on to complete his post-graduation in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. He was also honored with a Gold Medal for his performance. Also Read - Today's Google doodle is all about India's 'satellite man': Here's all you need to know
In 1985, right after his graduation, Somnath joined Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation. At ISRO, Somnath worked on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) Project in its initial phase.
In the year 2010, he took the position of Associate Director (Projects) of VSSC and also the Project Director of GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle. He then moved up to the position of Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) in the year 2015. And in January 2018 he was appointed as the Director of VSSC. He had succeeded K Sivan even for this position.