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Former VSSC director dead

He held office from 2013, was a Padma Shri recepient
S. Ramakrishnan, former Director of Indian Space Research Organisation’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), died here on Tuesday. He was 71 and resided at TC 29/1529, Post office Lane, Perunthanni.

Mr. Ramakrishnan joined the VSSC, a lead centre of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), in August 1972 after graduating from the College of Engineering, Guindy, and acquiring his MTech in Aeronautics from IIT, Madras.

He joined as a member of the SLV-3 project team responsible for the development of India’s first satellite launch vehicle under the leadership of A.P. J. Abdul Kalam. He then moved to the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) project in 1983 and worked on liquid propulsion systems. He was also project director for the PSLV continuation programme, and later, mission director for the PSLV C1, C2, C3 and C4 flights.

In 2003, he took over as Project Director, GSLV-Mk III. He became Director of the Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC) in June 2010, and three years later, in 2013, he took over as VSSC Director.

Mr. Ramakrishnan is a recipient of the Dr Biren Roy Award conferred by the Aero Society of India and the Astronautical Society Award for outstanding contributions towards launch vehicle development and operationalisation of the PSLV. He received the Padma Shri in 2003.

Mr. Ramakrishnan leaves behind wife Anuradha, daughter Harini and son Shyam. The cremation will be held at 12 noon Wednesday at the Puthenkotta crematorium.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the death. Mr. Ramakrishnan was an expert in launch vehicle technology and played important roles in the development of the SLV-3, PSLV and GSLV Mk-III, he said.