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Chairman of ISRO
News: Recently, S. Somanath, an eminent rocket scientist has been appointed as the Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the Space Secretary.
Contribution of Dr. Somanath
• He has played a major role in the development of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mk-III (GSLV Mk-III).He joined the GSLV Mk-III project in 2003, and served as Project Director from 2010 to 2014.He is an expert in the area of system engineering of launch vehicles.Later on, he contributed to the development of the indigenous cryogenic stages for the GSLV.
• It is the pioneer space exploration agency of India, headquartered at Bengaluru.ISRO was formed in 1969 with a vision to develop and harness space technology in national development, while pursuing planetary exploration and space science research.ISRO replaced its predecessor, INCOSPAR (Indian National Committee for Space Research), established in 1962 by India’s first Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru and scientist Vikram Sarabhai, considered amongst the founding fathers of the Indian space program.
• The first Indian satellite, Aryabhata, was built by the ISRO and launched with the help of the Soviet Union on 19th April 1975.The year 1980 marked the launch of Rohini, which was the first satellite to be successfully placed in orbit by SLV-3, an Indian made launch vehicle.
• Subsequently with more efforts, two other rockets were developed by ISRO: the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) for placing satellites into polar orbits and the GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) for placing satellites into geostationary orbits.Both the rockets have successfully launched several earth observation and communication satellites for India as well as other countries.
• Indigenous satellite navigation systems like IRNSS and GAGAN have also been deployed.
• Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System is designed to provide accurate position information service to assist in the navigation of ships in the Indian Ocean waters.
• GAGAN is India's first satellite-based global positioning system that relies on ISRO’s GSAT satellites.
• In January 2014, ISRO used an indigenously built cryogenic engine for a GSLV-D5 launch of the GSAT-14 satellite making it one of the only six countries in the world to develop a cryogenic technology.
• Some remarkable space probes of ISRO include Chandrayaan-1 lunar orbiter, Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan-1) and ASTROSAT space observatory.The success of the Mars Orbiter Mission made India only the fourth country in the world to reach Martian orbit.
• India launched Chandrayaan-2, its second lunar exploration mission after Chandrayaan-1 on 22nd July 2019.