VSSC Director S. Ramakrishnan retired on June 30

Two top-level appointments have been effected in the Indian Space Research Organisation. M.C. Dathan took over on June 30 as Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram, following the retirement of S. Ramakrishnan. Replacing Mr. Dathan as Director, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, is K. Sivan.

Mr. Dathan made important contributions to the realisation of propulsion systems for the SLV-3, the Augmented Satellite Launch Vehicle and the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, all of which use solid propellants. He was Project Director for booster motors, which use about 200 tonnes of solid propellants for the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle-Mark III. He was the Chief Executive of the Solid Propellant Booster Plant for the PSLV and the GSLV motors. A world-class Mission Control Centre and Launch Control Centre came up at Sriharikota under Mr. Dathan’s watch.

New LPSC Director Dr. Sivan has a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the IIT-Bombay. “It will be exciting to lead the LPSC because it is an important centre. The LPSC makes liquid, cryogenic and semi-cryogenic propulsion systems for different vehicles. We also developed the propulsion systems for the spacecraft Chandrayaan and Mars Orbiter, and we will do so for Chandrayaan-2 including its lander,” he said.

Dr. Sivan made valuable contributions to the PSLV project’s mission planning, design, integration and analysis. The mission design strategies he perfected for the PSLV became the foundation for other ISRO vehicles such as the GSLV, GSLV-Mk III and the Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD) which is under development. He was the architect of the ISRO’s wind tunnel facility, which opened new avenues in computational fluid dynamics. He was the Mission Director for the successful GSLV D-5 flight in January 2014 which used an indigenous cryogenic engine.

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