ISRO Names New Propulsion Center Director in Wake Of Cryogenic Engine Failure

GSLV Mark III engine test (Photo: ISRO)
GSLV Mark III engine test (Photo: ISRO)

Six weeks after the failure of its first indigenous cryogenic stage, ISRO has named a new director for the propulsion center charged with developing the space agency’s rocket engines, The Hindu reports:

S. Ramakrishnan, Director (Projects), Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram, has been appointed Director of Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). He took charge as Director on Monday. The LPSC has the responsibility of developing rocket stages powered by liquid propellants and cryogenic propellants for ISRO missions…

Ramakrishnan has been chairing an accident investigation committee examining the April 15 failure of the GSLV-D3 mission, which included India’s first indigenous cryogenic upper stage. The stage failed to ignite, causing a communications satellite to fall into the Bay of Bengal. It was a major setback for ISRO, which had been working on cryogenic engine technology for 17 years.

Ramakrishnan, who replaces M.K. Gopinathan Nair as LPSC director, previously served as project director of the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle — MARK III program and mission director for several successful Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle launches.