‘Rocket man’ K. Sivan appointed new ISRO chief

Eminent scientist K. Sivan, known as the “Rocket Man” for his significant contribution in the development of cryogenic engines for India’s space programme,was on Wednesday appointed as the new Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Currently the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Center in Thiruvananthapuram which is responsible for the design and development activities for all launch vehicles, Sivan will succeed A.S. Kiran Kumar and have a three year term as the ISRO chief.

Sivan’s appointment was cleared by the Appointment Committee of Cabinet (ACC) on Wednesday. It comes at a time when ISRO is planning to outsource construction of satellites and rockets for future launches.

An alumnus of IIT Bombay, Sivan has contributed significantly in Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and GSLV Mk-Ill vehicle design. He has been credited for development of the PSLV rocket that launched 104 satellites in a single mission, setting a world record in February last year.

Sivan also designed a software called Sitara, which ISRO uses for simulating trajectories of its rockets.