Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) appointed a new chairman on Wednesday. S Somnath is the new chairman of ISRO and he is also appointed as Space Secretary. He is succeeding Kailasavadivoo Sivan who was serving ISRO on extended tenure.
Dr S Somnath was appointed as Secretary of Department of Space and the Chairman of the Space Commission by the Centre. Personnel Ministry order said, “Dr S Somnath appointment is 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 public interest.”
The post of Space Secretary, Space Commission Chief and ISRO Chairman is held by the same person.
He was born in 1963 and did his B Tech in Mechanical Engineering from TKM Engineering College, Kolam. Dr Somnath did his Masters in Aerospace Engineering from IISc, Bangalore. He was excellent in his academics and received gold medal for his academic excellence.
S Somnath is Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. During early phase of the career he served as a team leader for Integration of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
His first accomplishment was on December 18, 2014. Experimental flight of LVM3-X/CARE was successful under his guidance and leadership.
Dr S Somnath also served as Associate Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and Project Director of GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle.
Dr Somnath has specialization in launch vehicle systems engineering, structural dynamics, structural design, mechanism design and pyrotechnics.