S. Ramakrishnan, distinguished scientist with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), has taken over as director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre.

He replaces P. S. Veeraraghavan, distinguished scientist, and has more than four decades of experience in rocketry.

For the last two years, he has been heading the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC), one of the lead centres of ISRO. Ramakrishnan is an acclaimed expert in the areas of aerospace propulsion, launch vehicle systems and project management.

Before taking leadership of LPSC, he was director (projects) at VSSC and was chairman, flight readiness review. He played a key role in accomplishing the PSLV (polar satellite launch vehicle) C-11/Chandrayaan missions as also in realising India’s first satellite launch vehicle.

He was project director for PSLV continuation programme during 1996-2002. It was under his leadership that PSLV was operationalised, enhancing its payload capability from 900 kg to 1,500 kg.

He was mission director for PSLV C1, C2, C3 and C4 flights. A recipient of many national awards, he was honoured with a Padma Shri in 2003.


John P. Zachariah has been appointed director (R&D) of VSSC. A distinguished scientist and a recipient of many prestigious awards, Zachariah has 40 years of association with the Indian space programme in various capacities. Before taking over as director (R&D), he has been serving as associate director of VSSC.

Zachariah is also an expert in the launch vehicle area, especially in launch vehicle integration and automatic launch processing systems.

He has also made significant contributions in development of advanced systems such as onboard computers, advanced telemetry and inertial navigation systems. He was instrumental in the successful realisation of all PSLV and GSLV missions so far.


(This article was published on January 2, 2013)
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