S Somanath to replace K Sivan as ISRO chief

The appointment will be for a combined tenure of three years, including an option for extension in public interest

Dr S Somanath

Dr S Somanath, an Indian aerospace engineer and rocket scientist, has been appointed the new chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the secretary of the Department of Space.

Somanath is currently the director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram.

His new appointment is for a combined tenure of three years from the date of joining, including an extension in tenure beyond the age of superannuation in public interest, according to an order from the Union Personnel Ministry.

Somanath will succeed K. Sivan, who will complete his extended tenure on Friday, January 14, at the helm of ISRO.

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Immediately after his appointment, Somanath told The Times of India: “The most important responsibility is to create a space enterprise in India where all the stakeholders, including DoS, Isro, IN-SPACe, industry and start-ups are all part of the efforts to expand the space programme on a bigger scale.”

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