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ISRO gets a new chairman

Last updated: 25 October, 2009
Thiruvananthapuram, dhns & agencies: 1:19 IST

Avionic expert Dr K Radhakrishnan, director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) here, has been appointed chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

K Radhakrishnan A senior scientist who played a key role in several Indian space missions, Radhakrishnan succeeds Dr G Madhavan Nair who is retiring this month-end.

Reacting to his appointment as ISRO chairman, Radhakrishnan told newspersons at the Guruvayoor Sreekrishna temple that it was a big recognition for him. “I am very happy, as it is a big recognition for me and I should say that even bigger is the responsibility entrusted with me,” he said after offering prayers at the temple.

One of the key architects of the Chandrayaan mission, Radhakrishnan said ISRO would soon begin work on sending two humans into the orbit where they would stay for seven days. This would be one of the new projects he would be initiating, he said.

“However, the immediate priority before us is the launch of GSLV-D3, using an indigenously developed cryogenic engine. It would put a communication satellite called GSAT-4 in orbit,” he said.

Radhakrishnan said capacity enhancement of communication satellites — which involves increasing the number of transponders to 500 — would be also taken up. He said the discovery of water on the moon by Chandrayaan was a stepping stone to future projects, including the proposed Mars mission.

A native of Irinjalakkuda in Thrissur district and an avid fan of Kathakali, Radhakrishnan, who is an MBA from IIM Bangalore, joined the space organisation in 1971 as an avionic engineer at VSSC.

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