Eminent rocket scientist S Somanath has been appointed the new chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) as well as the Space Secretary. He will succeed K Sivan who completes his extended tenure as ISRO chief tomorrow. His appointment as the Space Secretary and the Space Commission Chairman is for a combined tenure of three years from the date of joining of the post. The post of the ISRO chairman, the Space Secretary and the Space Commission chief is usually held by one person only.
Mr Somanath will be the 10th chairman of ISRO. He is at present Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). Mr Somanath took charge as the VSSC’s head on January 22, 2018, after a two and a half years stint as the Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), Valiamala, Thiruvananathapuram. Previously, he served as the Associate Director (Projects) of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and also as the Project Director of GSLV Mk-III launch vehicle. Mr Somanath is an expert in the area of system engineering of launch vehicles.