In the past, those eyes that searched for scientific interests in school yards and classrooms in Aroor have now peaked. Yes, Malayalee scientist and Thiruvananthapuram VSSC director S. Somnath has been appointed as the new head of ISRO. Somnath has been given a new responsibility following the retirement of Dr. K. Sivan.
S. Somnath (58) from Alappuzha was also the director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC), which played a key role in the Chandrayaan 2 project. Somnath, the son of Sreedharan Panicker and Thangamma couple from Aroor, is the teacher at Thuravur Vedambaram.
Somnath is the fifth person from Kerala to become the head of ISRO. M.G.K. Menon, Dr. K. Kasturirangan, Dr. G. Madhavan Nair, Dr. The other 4 are K. Radhakrishnan. Somnath joined the VSSC in 1985 and has been the chairman of the Liquid Driving Center (LPSC). In 2018, he became the Director of VSC. Somnath designed missiles including the GSLV Mark 3. He was the project director who designed the rocket in the Chandrayaan-1 project. He was instrumental in developing and launching the Chandrayaan-2 rocket.
He holds a degree in Engineering from DKM College of Engineering, Kollam. Post Graduate Degree from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Joined VSSC in 1985. That was the time of the PSLV spacecraft. Participated in the design of the first and second missiles. Later Chandrayaan became part of the mission. He was the project director who designed the rocket on the first voyage.
Many key components of rocket construction and launch on Chandrayaan 2 were built by VSSC. Somnath also oversaw the design of the engine. Somnath will lead ISRO to launch India’s first space missions Kaganyan and Chandrayaan-3.
Somnath’s family lived near the Palliyarakkavu temple on the Aroor-Arukutty road and later at Thuraivur Valamangalam. His wife Valsala is from Poochakkal. Works in GST field in Trivandrum. Daughter Malika and son Madhav are engineering students.
English Summary: S Somnath, New Head of ISRO (Space Agency)