Kerala’s Senior Rocket Scientist S Somanath Appointed New Head of ISRO
The Cabinet Nominations Committee (ACC) on Wednesday approved the appointment of S Somanath as Secretary of the Space Department and President of ISRO for a combined term of three years from the date of entry into office. function.
Somanath, currently director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC), will succeed K Sivan.
“The Cabinet Appointments Committee has approved the appointment of S Somanath, Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC) as Secretary of the Space Department and Chairman of the Space Commission for a combined term of three years from the date of joining the office, including an extension of term beyond retirement age in the public interest, or until further orders, whichever comes first,” says the press release.
Speaking to ANI, Somanath said, “I am very happy to join the Space Department and Chairman of the Space Commission (ISRO). It is truly an honor.”
Talking about focus areas, he said there are different segments that we need to focus on.
“Areas of focus will be technology, policy, implementation and areas where stakeholders need to be supported. There are different segments that we need to focus on. On the technology side, we are driving various technological disciplines. We need to bring new ways of approaching so that what is available can be put to best use. There are also many new technologies. We need to introduce new approaches; we need to work with various manufacturers capabilities like tech companies,” Somanath said.
“The next important element is a gazebo where all the space can be used more. We have a traditional communication and navigation area, but the application areas are so vast and innovative. A lot of people are coming out with new ideas and approaches. We need to see how these can be bought into space and can create new applications where this traditional process can produce better results. And also look at how new approaches can be bought,” he said.
Somanath said they also need to work with industries to see how the space ecosystem can spread across industries.
“We need to look at how costs can be significantly reduced, because space is a very expensive business,” he added.
He added that it was also a time to discuss business and profits in space.
“Operational economy big enough to be profitable. We’ve never discussed profit or business so far in the country, but it’s time to discuss business in space and then figure out how we can create a commercial enterprise around space technology that will be self-sustaining and profitable for people to come in and invest,” Somanath said.
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