The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) on Wednesday approved the appointment of S Somanath to the post of Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, ISRO for a combined tenure of three years from the date of joining of the post.
Somanath, who is at present director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), will succeed K Sivan.
"The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet has approved the appointment of S Somanath, Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) to the post of Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, Space Commission for a combined tenure of three years from the date of joining of the post, inclusive of an extension in tenure beyond the age of superannuation in the public interest, or until further orders whichever is earlier," the statement reads.
Speaking to ANI, Somanath said, "I am very happy to join as Secretary, Department of Space and Chairman, Space Commission (ISRO). It is really an honour."
Talking about the areas of focus he said there are different segments which we need to concentrate on.
"Areas of focus will be technology, policy, implementation and areas where stakeholders need to be taken care of. There are different segments that we need to concentrate on. Looking at the technology side we are the powerhouse of technology various disciplines. We need to bring new approach methods so that available can be best utilized. There are many new technologies too. We need to bring in newer approaches; have to work with various capacity builders like tech companies," said Somanath.
"The next important is a lookout where all space can be utilised further. we have a traditional commination and navigation domain, but the application domains are so vast and innovative. Many people come out with new ideas and approaches. We need to see how those can be bought into the space domain and can create new applications by which that traditional process can produce better output. And also look out how new approaches can be bought in," he said.
Somanath said that they also have to work with industries to see how the ecosystem of space can spread into industries.
"We have to look out how cost can be bought down substantially become space is a very costly business," he added.
He further said that this is also the time to discuss business and profit in space.
"Economy of operation big enough to make profitable. We never discussed profit or business so far in the country but this is time to discuss business in space and then find how we can create business enterprise around space technology which will be self-sustaining and profitable for people to enter and invest," said Somanath.
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