In a fresh change of guard, ISRO’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) director S Somnath has taken charge as the new director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), which is ISRO’s lead centre for launch vehicles, here on 22 January 2018. He says the focus is on two upcoming launches February.
Soon after taking charge, VSSC new director Somnath told TOI that his priorities will be on technology upgradation of launch vehicle design and to focus on immediate launches including GSLV-Mark (MK) II and PSLV-C41 in Feb. GSAT -MKII (F09) will be for the launch of communication satellite GSAT-6A and PSLV-C41 for launch of Indian remote sensing satellite IRNSS-1I.
He is offering leadership for the development of 200 ton Semi-cryogenic engine for future launch vehicles, throttle able engines for lander craft of Chanradrayaan-2 and high thrust electric propulsion systems for future all Electric propulsion satellites. Under his leadership as the Project Director, the first Experimental flight of LVM3-X/CARE mission was successfully accomplished on Dec 18, 2014. It was in 1985 that Somnath joined ISRO. He has served as a team leader for Integration of PSLV during its early development phase, its first flight and the successful second flight PSLV-D2.