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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Friday in an official statement announced that S. Somanath has assumed charge of the space agency as its chairman. 

“Today, January 14, 2022, Shri. S. Somanath assumed charge as Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, Space Commission," the statement read. 

Somanath had been the director at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananathapuram for four years before joining ISRO. 

Somanath has a Masters in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.  He specializes in Structures, Dynamics, and Control. 

Somanath stands out as an expert in the area of system engineering of Launch vehicles. 

He contributed in Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) MkIII, which was chosen to launch Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft. His contribution were in their overall architecture, propulsion stages design, structural and structural dynamics designs, separation systems, vehicle integration, and integration procedures development, the statement confirmed.

The official statement also mentioned the awards and accolades of the new appointed ISRO chief.

“He is the recipient of the ‘Space Gold Medal’ from the Astronautical Society of India. He received the ‘Merit Award" and ‘Performance Excellence award’ from ISRO and a ‘Team excellence award’ for GSLV Mk-III development. He is a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering (INAE), a Fellow of the Aeronautical Society of India (AeSI), Astronautical Society of India (ASI), and a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). He is in the bureau of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) and a recipient of the National Aeronautics Prize from the Aeronautical Society of India (ASI)," it said. 

Somanath succeeded K Sivan who completes his extended tenure today. The post of the ISRO chairman, the Space Secretary and the Space Commission chief is held by one person only.

 

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