S Somanath, a rocket scientist, has been named the next head of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and secretary of the Department of Space. Somanath succeeds K Sivan, whose term will end on January 14. Since January 2018, S Somanath has been the director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). For the next three years, he will serve as Secretary of the Department of Space and Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
What do we know about him?
• Somanth hails from Aroor in the Alappuzha district, had graduated in Mechanical Engineering from the TKM College of Engineering in Kollam.
• He holds a Master’s degree holder in aerospace engineering from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and is a Gold medalist.
• He had joined Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in 1985 and was the project manager of GSLV Mk-III from June 2010 to 2014.
• He played a key role in three successful missions of GSLV with indigenous cryogenic stages and eleven successful missions of PSLV.
• In June 2015, Somnath was named director of ISRO's Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Thiruvananthapuram.
• Under him, 15 successful satellite missions were accomplished with the propulsion systems supplied from LPSC.
• Somanath becomes the fourth Malayali to hold the post after K Kasturirangan, G Madhavan Nair, and K Radhakrishnan.
• Somanath was serving as the is the Director of (VSSC) since 2018.