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From farmer's son to 'Rocketman': ISRO chief Kailasavadivoo Sivan's journey

Born in 1957 to a farmer's family, Kailasavadivoo Sivan hails from Mela Sarakkalvilai village which is near Nagercoil in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. (With inputs from agencies)

India's Rocketman

Amidst ambiguity over the status of Vikram lander, here is a quick look at the life of ISRO chief Kailasavadivoo Sivan, popularly known as 'Rocketman' who has significantly contributed in India's space programmes.

(Photograph:AFP)

Farmer's son

Born in 1957 at farmer's house, Kailasavadivoo Sivan hails from Mela Sarakkalvilai village which is near Nagercoil in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu.

Graduating from Madras Institute of Technology in Aeronautical Engineering in 1980, Sivan received his Masters' degree in Aerospace Engineering from Indian Institue of Science, Bangalore in 1982. 

Subsequently, he completed his PhD in Aerospace engineering from IIT-Bombay in 2006.

Sivan is the first person to graduate in his family.

(Photograph:AFP)

Joined ISRO In 1982

Sivan joined ISRO in 1982. He is well known for his contribution to the development of cryogenic engines for India's space programme. 

He was appointed as ISRO chief in January last year. Before this, he was working as the director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center in Thiruvananthapuram.

(Photograph:AFP)

Contribution in PSLV project

Sivan has been credited for the development of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) that launched 104 satellites in a single mission, setting a world record in February last year.

The vehicle also successfully launched two spacecraft – Chandrayaan-1 in 2008 and Mars Orbiter Spacecraft in 2013 – that later travelled to Moon and Mars respectively.

(Photograph:AFP)

GSLV and SITARA 

He also contributed significantly in Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) and GSLV Mk-Ill vehicle design. 

He also developed a 6D trajectory simulation software call SITARA, which is the back-bone of the real-time and non-real-time trajectory simulations of all ISRO launch vehicles. 

(Photograph:AFP)

'Launch wind biasing strategy'

Sivan also developed and implemented an innovative day-of 'launch wind biasing strategy' which has made possible rocket launch on any day of the year at any weather and wind conditions. 

(Photograph:AFP)

Next aim to create India's own space station

In June this year, Sivan said, India will look to create its own space station following the completion of the country’s first manned mission into space in 2022.

The ISRO would take about five to seven years to launch the proposed space station after its first manned mission is completed in 2022, Sivan said.

(Photograph:AFP)