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All you need to know about new ISRO chairman S. Somanath

Somnath has played a major role in the development of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (GSLV Mk-III).

SNS | New Delhi |

Recently, S. Somanath, an eminent rocket scientist has been appointed as the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Space Secretary.

Remarkable contributions and significant works of S. Somanath:

Somnath has played a major role in the development of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (GSLV Mk-III).

He joined the GSLV Mk-III project in 2003, and served as Project Director from 2010 to 2014. He is an expert in the area of system engineering of launch vehicles.

Later on, he contributed to the development of the indigenous cryogenic stages for the GSLV.

Somanath’s inspiring journey in the field of space:

Somanath was born and raised in the Alappuzha district of Kerala, his father, a Hindi teacher, always supported him to pursue his dreams. He realised his interest in the field of space while pursuing Mechanical Engineering from Kerala University.

As a college student, Somanath had specially requested his professor to teach him a course on propulsion — a specific subject in rocketry that is not taught as part of engineering.

He completed the course with the second rank and joined the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru for a postgraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering. The gold medalist was recruited by ISRO for the PSLV programme soon after the course.

Somanath is an expert in a host of disciplines including launch vehicle design. He has specialised in launch vehicle systems engineering, structural design, structural dynamics, integration designs and procedures, mechanism design, and pyrotechnics, says an NDTV report.

In 1985, he became the team leader for the integration of the PSLV rocket during its early phases at ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Kerala.

What upcoming missions from ISRO are we likely to see in his tenure:

Gaganyaan Mission: India’s maiden space mission, Gaganyaan, will be launched in 2023.

Chandrayaan-3 Mission: Chandrayaan-3 is likely to be launched during the third quarter of 2022.

Three Earth Observation Satellites (EOSs): EOS-4 (Risat-1A) and EOS-6 (Oceansat-3)— will be launched using Isro’s workhorse PSLV, the third one, EOS-2 (Microsat), will be launched in the first developmental flight of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV). These satellites will be launched in the first quarter of 2022.