NEW DELHI: Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) chairman K Sivan has been given one-year extension as he was due to retire on January 14, 2021.
The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet on Wednesday “approved the extension of his tenure for a period of one year up to January 14, 2022, or until further orders”. The cabinet extended his tenure as several big-ticket space programmes like Gaganyaan and Chandrayaan-3 and the rollout of recently-announced space reforms are still pending.
Talking to TOI soon after getting the extension, the Isro chairman said, “First of all, I want to thank the government for giving me an opportunity to serve the space system more. My highest priority is to implement the space reforms ushered in by the Modi government and put the system in place. Secondly, I want to push our own programmes like Gaganyaan and Chandrayaan-3 missions. Thirdly, I want to give a boost to Isro’s new development activities like the development of the semi cryogenic engine and the electric-propulsion system.”
On meeting the deadline for PM Modi’s dream project “Gaganyaan”, Sivan told TOI, “I will do my maximum (level best) to launch the Gaganyaan programme (within the August 2022 deadline). We will also try to fast-track the Chandrayaan-3 launch (to soft-land on the Moon). But my highest priority is to implement the space reforms recently introduced by the government.”
He also said the PSLV-C51 will be the first PSLV launch of 2021. The rocket will carry three privately built Indian satellites along with a primary satellite from Brazil. The launch of these three satellites developed by three Indian startups will give a push to space reforms, which puts the impetus on allowing the private sector to engage in space exploration by using Isro’s space assets.