Most of us already know S. Somanath. He became the 10th Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation. He took over the post of chairman in January of 2022. For Kerala, it was a very significant moment just due to the ISRO chairman position, he is the 4th Malyali who took over the position.
S Somnath became part of the Indian Space Research Organisation in 1985, and since then he has still part of the organization with all his dedication and hard work. But the most compelling fact is While he was a chairman, ISRO took his third mission of Indian lunar exploration known as the Chandrayaan-3. The lander which is known as Vikram and a rover called Pragyan landed closer to the lunar south pole area on 23 August 2023 when the time duration was 18:04 IST, which is also was a very proud moment for India as it became the primary country to successfully land any spacecraft closer by the lunar south pole as well as the 4th country which ever did the very comforting and precise landing on the Moon.
Somnath also worked in the position of director at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, which is based in Thiruvananthapuram as well as the director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, based in Thiruvananthapuram. He is popular for all his efforts and parts in launching various vehicle designs, mainly in the field of pioneering vehicle systems engineering, construction design, construction dynamics, and pyrotechnics.
Birth and Personal Life
In July 1963, S Somanath was born. He originally belonged to Alappuzha in Alleppey district, Kerala India. He was originally from a South Indian Malayali family. His father's name was V. Sreedhara Panicker, who was a well-known teacher of Hindi at that time and his mother was Thankamma, both from Kerala.
He did all his schooling at St. Augustine's High School, based on Aroor as well as did his pre-university course from Maharaja's College in Ernakulam. He did his graduation a program in mechanical engineering from Thangal Kunju Musaliar College of Engineering, which also was in Kollam, Kerala University as well as he did his master's course in aerospace engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore with a specialization in dynamics as well as control.
The genius engineer later got married to Valsala. She is a very supportive wife which leads them both to a happy married life. Valsala is also working in the Goods and Service Tax Department which is also known as the GST Department and comes under the department of the Ministry of Finance. Both the couple have two child in which one is a daughter and the other is a son.
Both of the Somnath kids have done all their studies and are post-graduated in Engineering. In his one interview, Somanath told people that his father was the one who supported his love for science and also brought all the science as well as English and Malayalam language books.
Currently, he is 60 years old (according to his birth date). His full name is Sreedhara Panicker Somanath. S. Somnath's height is around 5 feet 8 inches and he weighs around 82 kg.
S. Somanath Career
S Somanath started his career in 1985 when he joined ISRO. He is also part of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) project in the primary phase as well as till November 2014, he also served as Deputy Director of the Propulsion and Space Ordinance Entity.
He has also worked as the Director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) since June 2015 which is in charge of the design and movement of liquid propulsion systems for providing new vehicles and spacecraft programs.
S Somanath is in past was working along with the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) where he was a Director. Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre is the main centre of ISRO that is focused on the design and realization of the launch vehicles.
S. Somanath New ISRO Chairman
Another big achievement by S Somnath is when he became chairman of ISRO, he started focusing on various technologies, policies, and other several areas where the stakeholders focus and should be taken care of very well. His work also includes taking care of the expansion of the ecosystem of space in the industries. He became chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation at the start of January 2022. This was the position of the 10th Chairman of ISRO but surprisingly also the first one who belonged from Kerala.
He is an aerospace engineer and has been working in the space sector for more than 35 years. He spends most of his time service in the ISRO, which is also the main reason behind his working in the different important positions at ISRO, even as the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (also known as VSSC) and Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (popular as LPSC). He has also well as won the very reputable "Space Gold Medal" from the Astronautical Society of India.
He is well-respected in the space community and is known for his dedication to his work.
As the new chairman of ISRO, the main duty of Somnath is to take ISRO as well as India's science to a new level of development and progress. According to Somnath, "Now he wants to target providing new technologies, increasing ISRO's reach into different unexplored areas, as well as making it stronger to do international partnerships.
Chandrayaan 3 Mission
While Somanath is the head, ISRO auspiciously launched the Chandrayaan 3 mission in 2023. The spacecraft was launched on 14 th of July 2023 and later completed the mission on 23 th of August successfully and made the entire country proud. This mission not only showed the expertise of Somnath but also showed that Somnath is really committed to improving and developing India in exploring space.
Aditya -L1 is a satellite that is mainly designed to perform the complete study of the Sun. It overall has 7 different Payloads developed, all of which are native. There are seven in total, of which two were provided by Indian academic institutions and five of them were by ISRO.
Talking about the name "Aditya", is a Sanskrit word that simply is a name for "Sun" in the Hindu religion. Also, the L1 is mentioned for Lagrange Point 1 of the Sun and Earth system. In much simpler words, we can say that L1 is an area situated in space where the gravitational forces of two celestial bodies, like the Sun and Earth are in equilibrium. This permits an object placed there to stay relatively stable with respect to both celestial bodies.
It was launched on the 2nd of September 2023, Aditya L1 is supposed to stay in Earth-bound orbits for the time duration of 16 days, during which it goes through maneuvres to get the required velocity of its journey. Later, Aditya-L1 undergoes a Trans-Lagrangian 1 insertion maneuver, highlighting the beginning of its 110-day trajectory to the landing space around the L1 Lagrange point. Along with the arrival at the L1 point, the other maneuver binds Aditya L1 to an orbit nearby L1, a balanced gravitational location between the Earth and the Sun.
The Strategic placement at the L1 Lagrange point makes sure that Aditya-L1 can develop a continual, unbroken view of the Sun. This place also permits the satellite to access solar radiation and magnetic storms prior to when they really influence Earth's magnetic field and atmosphere. In addition to the L1 Point gravitational firmness which reduces the requirement for frequent orbital maintenance attempts, improving the satellite's operational effectiveness.
Aditya-L1 is believed to stay around 1.5 million kilometres in distance from the planet Earth. As the Sun is a big round circle of gas Aditya-L1 is created to study the outermost atmosphere all around the Sun. but it is important to remember that Aditya-L1 is not going to land on the Sun or not going to approach the Sun nearby.
Awards and Honours
Somanath's hard work as well as contribution have paid him different reputed awards, which include:
S. Somanath Salary
He is the Chairman of ISRO which no doubt is a big task; he is well-qualified and experienced in his area and this makes him an expert. So on the basis of the reports and facts, he gets around 2.5 lakhs every month. Being the Chairman, he is not only famous but also is inspiration for many and was called on shows like Ted Talk where he told everyone about his life.
S. Somanath's Net Worth
Whatever Mr Somanath achieved is not easy at all and for that, he worked very hard and also for so many years he served ISRO and India for so many years. Due to his hard work, he earned a lot of success and wealth but also a name and love. So if we follow the reports and details available his net worth is nearly 3-5 crore at present.
Legacy and Impact
No doubt, Somanath has contributed a lot to ISRO's different projects, especially when we talk about the field of launching various vehicle technologies as well as lunar exploration, which have been a strong tool in reaching India's space abilities. His great leadership qualities as well as his qualities to go on with to play an important significant role in developing the country's space endeavors as well as international partnerships.
Whenever we talk about the achievement of Mr. S. Somnath, for the entire India it is a fact of pride. He is a very simple man with the major important elements such as humanity and dedication to hard work. For so many years, he has made a contribution to the Indian Scientific field which is very great and remarkable. He has created various blueprints of vehicles, especially in the areas of engineering, he has made a good contribution to pyrotechnics, structural designing, as well as dynamics.
To honour all the good contributions to our country's science area, SRM University, Tamil Nadu rewarded him with a Doctorate of Science in September 2022. On the occasion of the 18th Annual Convocation of the University.