Dr. Sreedhara Somanath is a well-known Indian aerospace engineer and rocket scientist who has made important contributions to India’s space program. S. Sommanth has worked with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) for over 35 years. Somanath’s distinguished career and achievements have given him a well-deserved reputation in the realm of space exploration.
Early Life of S. Somanath:
He was born in July 1963 in Alappuzha (Alleppey), Kerala, has risen to prominence in the aerospace sector. He followed his educational goals with zeal and determination.
S. Somanath’s Educational Experiences:
Somanath’s academic career began at St. Augustine’s High School. He received his higher education at a variety of institutions:
- TKM College of Engineering, Kollam, offers a Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering.
- The Indian Institute of Science awarded him a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, Dynamics, and Control.
- The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras awarded him a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering.
Personal and Family Life
Somanath is married to Valsala, who works for the Ministry of Finance’s Goods and Services Tax (GST) department. They are the proud parents of two children, both of whom hold Post Graduate degrees in Engineering. Despite being a Hindi teacher, Somanath’s father encouraged his son’s scientific enthusiasm by supplying him with science books in both English and Malayalam.
S. Somanath’s Career Highlights :
Somanath’s career at ISRO has been defined by numerous notable responsibilities and accomplishments:
- He joined ISRO in 1985 and worked at the LPSC (Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre) and the VSSC (Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre) in various capacities.
- He was the Project Manager for the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).
- Structure Entity/Propulsion & Space Ordnance Entity’s Deputy Director.
- Project Manager for the GSLV Mk.III
- He was the Deputy Director of the Propulsion and Space Ordnance Entity, where he was in charge of the PSLV project.
- LPSC’s director, in charge of designing and deploying liquid propulsion technologies.
- He was the Director of VSSC, where he managed the design and implementation of launch vehicles.
ISRO successfully launched the Chandrayaan-3 mission in 2023 under Somanath’s direction. The spacecraft, which was launched on July 14, reached lunar orbit on August 5, and completed its mission on August 23, 2023, at 6:04 PM. This accomplishment demonstrates Somanath’s dedication to furthering space exploration.
Vision and Awards
- Somanath’s hard work and efforts have garnered him a number of important honors, including:
- Astronautical Society of India (ASI) Gold Medal in Space.
- ISRO’s Performance Excellence Award and Team Excellence Award for contributions to the GSLV Mk.III.
- INAE (Indian National Academy of Engineering) membership.
- Corresponding member of the International Astronautical Academy.
Legacy and Influence:
Somanath’s contributions to ISRO’s many initiatives, particularly in the fields of launch vehicle technology and lunar exploration, have helped to advance India’s space capabilities. His vision and expertise continue to play an important role in developing the country’s space initiatives and international partnerships.