Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has a new chief, Dr K Sivan who was the director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), is all set to take over as the new director of India’s premier space agency.
- Dr Sivan will replace outgoing director Dr AS Kiran Kumar as the 9th chief of ISRO on January 12. During his career at ISRO, he has held many responsibilities, including group director of mission stimulation and synthesis group and project director of reusable launch vehicle technology demonstrator.
- Born in a remote village in Nagercoil, in the border town of Tamil Nadu with Kerala, Sivan graduated in aeronautical engineering from Madras Institute of Technology in 1980, He did his ME in aerospace engineering from IISc, Bengaluru, in 1982 and completed PhD in aerospace engineering from IIT-Bombay in 2006.
- Dr Sivan who joined ISRO’s in Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) project in the year 1982 played a major roles in the end to end mission planning, mission integration analysis and mission design.
- Other major ISRO projects that Dr Sivan has worked on include as the director of Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) with the indigenous cryogenic engine, GSLV-III rocket etc.
- Dr Sivan is also the only second rocket scientist to head ISRO, the first being Dr G Madhavan Nair.
- One of the very first challenges in front of the new director is the upcoming historic launch of the ISRO’s 100th satellite alongside 30 others in a single mission.
- It will be closely watched as the previous attempt, had failed, the first time in the history of PSLV due to a heat shield issue.
- He led the Reusable Launch Vehicle – Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) project, one of the most technologically challenging endeavours of ISRO towards developing essential technologies for a fully reusable launch vehicle, and was involved in its design qualification, aerodynamic characterization and hardware development.
- The PSLV-C37 launch carried innovative experiments like using the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) navigation system for predicting orbits of satellites.
- He is being appointed at a time when ISRO plans to outsource the building of satellites and launch vehicles to a consortium of Indian industries.
- Also, the Space Agency is all set to begin the new calendar year with the launch of 31 satellites on January 12 in its PSLV C-40.
- Shri Hari Om Ashram Prerit Dr Vikram Sarabhai Research award (1999)
- ISRO merit award (2007)
- Dr Biren Roy Space Science award (2011)
- Distinguished Alumnus Award (2013) from MIT Alumni Association, Chennai
He was conferred Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from Sathyabama University, Chennai in April 2014.