The Centre on Wednesday appointed K Sivan the chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organisation, PTI reported. Sivan, the director at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, will succeed MR Kumar, whose term ends on January 14.

The Personnel Ministry issued an order stating that Sivan will serve as Department of Space secretary and chairperson of the space commission for a three-year term.

“I am humbled by this appointment as legendary leaders have held this position in the past,” Sivan told NDTV. “Taking ISRO humbly into a new orbit would be my endeavour, serving both India and ISRO”. Sivan was the key person to work out the technicalities of sending 104 satellites into orbit in 2017, reported the news channel.

Sivan studied aeronautical engineering at the Madras Institute of Technology and completed his Master of Engineering in Aerospace engineering from IISc, Bangalore. He joined ISRO in 1982 and worked on the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle project.

India will attempt the launch of its 41st PSLV on Friday, months after the mission failed in August 2017. Sivan is overseeing the Friday launch.