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Three key ISRO centres get new chiefs



Bangalore, Jan 2 (IANS) The state-run Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has appointed three new directors for its various operational centres at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, Mahendragiri in Tamil Nadu and spaceport Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

In a statement late Tuesday, the space agency said noted scientist S. Ramakrishnan took over as director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) at Thiruvananthapuram from P.S. Veeraraghavan, who retired Monday.

Senior scientist M. Chandradathan replaced Ramakrishnan as director of the space agency’s Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) at Mahendragiri, and another distinguished scientist, M.Y.S. Prasad replaced Chandradathan as director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) at Sriharikota, about 90 km northeast of Chennai.

VSSC is the lead centre for the design and development of rocket technologies for the Indian space programme.

Ramarishnan worked under former president and renowned scientist A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in developing the country’s first satellite launch vehicle (SLV-3) and the space agency’s workhorse, the polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV).

Prior to heading LPSC, Ramakrishnan was project director of the geosynchronous satellite launch vehicle (GSLV-Mark III) and chairman of the flight readiness review for the country’s maiden unmanned lunar mission Chandrayaan-1 in 2008.

As former SDSC director, Chandradathan contributed to the development of solid boosters for PSLV and GSLV rockets and in setting up new mission control centre and launch control centre and new facilities to meet the future launch vehicle requirements of the premier spaceport.

As a veteran of the space agency’s launch vehicle development programme, Prasad was associate director of SDSC prior to his new appointment and director of ISRO’s master control facility at Hassan, about 180 km from Bangalore, and supervised the setting of a new master control facility at Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

Prasad was also space counsellor in the Indian embassy in Paris (France) and interfaced with international space agencies, including the aerospace industries of European countries for ISRO’s programmes.


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