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Madhavan Nair is new President of International Academy of Astronautics

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File photo of ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair.
File photo of ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman G Madhavan Nair has taken over as the President of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).

Dr Madhavan Nair, the first Indian space expert to become president of the academy, assumed charge yesterday during the General Assembly of the IAA in Daejeon, South Korea, an ISRO press release said. He was the Vice-President of Scientific Activites of the IAA for the last four years.

The IAA, with its headquarters in Paris, is an independent organisation of distinguished individuals elected by their peers for their outstanding contributions to astronautics and the exploration of space.

The IAA organises conferences and collaborates with other partner societies. Although the IAA has many connections to other similar organisations, it is the only international academy of elected members in the broad area of astronautics and space. IAA membership consists of individuals who have distinguished themselves in one of the fields of astronautics or one of the branches of science of fundamental importance for the exploration of space.

The academy, founded in 1960, today has a total of about 1200 members from 85 countries. It is an honorary society with an action agenda. The academy has a strong scientific programme this year with about 16 stand-alone conferences around the world.

Dr Madhavan Nair, who is also Secretary, Department of Space in the Government of India, is also the President of the Astronautical Society of India (ASI).

He started his career as Avionics Project Manager in the first Indian launch vehicle project. He was responsible for design, development and operationalisation of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV), the work-horse launch vehicle of India. He held various responsibilities in ISRO, including Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and Director of Liquid Propulsion System Centre.

He became Chairman, ISRO in 2003, and has 25 successful missions so far during his tenure. He operationalised multiple satellite launches using PSLV. His most significant contribution is the successful launch of India’s first mission to the Moon, the Chandrayaan-1.

The Government honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 1998 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2009.

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