Kailasavadivoo Sivan – India’s Rocket Man


Kailasavadivoo Sivan, popularly known as India’s ‘rocket man’, retired from ISRO on 14th January 2022. This renowned space scientist has been an inspiration to millions of young minds who dreamed of building their career in Space Technology.

He was instrumental in the success of the first development flight of GSLV Mk-III, which launched India’s heaviest satellite from our own soil. He has also made significant contributions in the vehicle design, control & guidance, mission management strategies and flight demonstration.

Born on April 14, 1957

Kailasavadivoo Sivan, the ‘Rocket Man’, has been a part of India’s space journey for four decades. Born in a poor farmer’s family, he overcame all societal barriers and turned into a brilliant space scientist.

He started his career with ISRO in 1982 and later became the Director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC). During his tenure, he was responsible for end-to-end mission planning, design, integration and analysis. He also led the development of an innovative ‘day-of launch wind biasing strategy’ that allows for rocket launches on any day, in any wind conditions.

In the recent past, he played a major role in Chandrayaan-2, the mission to the moon. His dedication to the project helped India to achieve success in one of the most ambitious space missions ever undertaken by a nation.

Sivan is a very religious person and offers prayers at various temples before every mission. He has a strong sense of dedication and works hard to make his dreams come true.

Even though he is a renowned space scientist, he remains humble and a firm believer in the power of God. He regularly visits his local temple and offered prayers before the launch of Chandrayaan-2.

During his time as an ISRO employee, he contributed immensely to the development of cryogenic engines for India’s space programme. He also led the team to develop an innovative ‘day-of launch wind-biasing strategy’, which enabled the PSLV to be launched on any day, in any weather and wind condition.

In January 2018, Sivan was appointed as the Chairman of ISRO, taking over the reigns from AS Kiran Kumar or A.S. Kiran Kumar. He served as the chief of ISRO until 2022. After his tenure, the government appointed S Somanath as the new ISRO chief.

Born in a Poor Farmer’s Family

The chairman of India’s space agency, Isro, Dr Kailasavadivoo Sivan, was born into a poor farmer’s family. He had to work long hours in the fields to earn money to send him to school. Despite the challenges, he managed to secure a BSc degree with a 100 percent score and became the first graduate of his family.

In 1982, he joined Isro and worked on many projects including the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) programme. He was also instrumental in developing cryogenic rocket engines for India’s space program. He later served as the director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre and was known as Isro’s ‘Rocket Man’ for his contributions to cryogenic engine, PSLV and GSLV programmes.

He also played a major role in the launch of 104 satellites in one go on February 15, 2017, a world record by ISRO. He is also credited with setting up a high-level team to quickly fix the glitch that stalled the launch of Chandrayaan-2, and helped the mission reach the moon within a week of the first planned liftoff date.

K Sivan is a living testimony of the power of determination and perseverance. He faced multiple failures and setbacks in his life, but never lost hope. He always remained positive and focused on his goals, which ultimately resulted in him being a successful and respected person in the society today.

He is a great inspiration for young students and should be commended for his efforts to push India forward in the field of space technology. He is a true patriot and his achievements are worthy of praise. His dedication and hardwork have made him an icon for Indians and the whole world to look up to.


K Sivan, chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is one of India’s most renowned space scientists. He has served the nation’s space agency for almost four decades. He is well known for his contributions in developing cryogenic engines. He has also made significant contributions to GSLV project and has helped launch multiple satellites into different orbits.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Madras Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru. He then joined the ISRO in 1982 and worked on many projects, including PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) Mission. He contributed towards mission planning, design, integration and analysis.

Born in a poor farmer’s family, Sivan was able to overcome all societal barriers and achieve his dream of becoming an engineer. He studied in a small Tamil medium school near his home. His uncle said that he was a very studious child. He completed his BSc in Mathematics with a 100% score.

According to him, the key to success in a career is to choose an industry that best reflects your passion and natural talent. You should not have a topper, super genius or excellent grades in order to be successful, he said.

Sivan is an advocate of spiritual values and believes in living a life full of harmony and joy. He regularly visits temples and enjoys listening to classical songs.

Besides his prestigious work, he is a devoted husband and a father of two sons. He has a passion for travel and listening to Tamil classical songs. He also enjoys gardening and reading books. He is fond of Hinduism and follows the zodiac sign Aries.


Sivan is a well-known aerospace engineer and rocket scientist. He currently serves as the Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Secretary of Department of Space. He is a leader in the field of space technology and has played an instrumental role in developing several key rockets that are used to send satellites into orbit.

He was born on April 14, 1957 in Mela Sarakkalvilai village, Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu. He was the first graduate in his family and is considered to be a self-made, studious and hardworking student.

While growing up, he faced many problems that he had to overcome in order to achieve his goals. He was born in a poor farmer’s family and had to sell part of his land in order to fund his education.

After his graduation, he went to study at MIT, where he studied aeronautical engineering. He completed his undergraduate degree in 1980 and a master’s in 1982 before joining ISRO in 1982.

He has been associated with various programmes and projects of ISRO including the development of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) project that is the workhorse of ISRO and contributed to its mission planning, design, analysis and integration. He also played a crucial role in the development of GSLV Mk II, India’s largest operational launch vehicle.

He has also led the development of a new type of hypersonic engine called the SCRAMJET that will be used for ISRO’s space transportation programme. It is believed to effectively influence the functioning of hypersonic speeds and supersonic combustion during ISRO’s space missions. He is the chief architect of India’s space transportation program and has drawn up a roadmap for future launch vehicles to augment existing capacity and build up new capacity for space access.


Kailasavadivoo Sivan, the current Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), received the Dr A P J Abdul Kalam award in recognition of his work in the promotion of science and technology. He was conferred the award by State Chief Minister K Palaniswami in Chennai on Thursday evening.

Sivan, a first graduate from his family, completed B-Tech in Aeronautical Engineering from the Madras Institute of Technology in 1980 and later got his master’s degree in aerospace engineering from IISc Bengaluru in 1982. He joined ISRO as a junior engineer and worked on the design, development and deployment of launch vehicles.

He was the leader of the team that resolved design issues and made the GSLV Mk II operational. He was responsible for four successful launches of GSLV Mk II, including the launch of South Asia Satellite. He was also the Project Director of NavIC and the Gaganyaan programme.

Throughout his career, Sivan has worked with different agencies like Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (Director, 2014-2015), Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (Director, 2015-2017) and Space Commission. In January 2018, he replaced AS Kiran Kumar as the ISRO Chairman.

His contribution to the space program of India is huge. He has worked on the development of cryogenic engine, which is used to power the rockets for the GSLV and other space missions. He has been a part of many space missions, including the Chandrayaan-1 and Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission. He is a fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, Aeronautical Society of India and Systems Society of India.

Sivan’s wife Chellam and children are also space scientists. They live in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. He enjoys reading books, listening to classical music and gardening. He also believes in spiritual values and regularly visits temples before and after completing any work.

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