ISRO chief was diagnosed with cancer on Aditya-L1 launch day; now cured, he says | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

ISRO chief S Somanath was diagnosed with cancer on Aditya-L1 launch day; ‘now cured’, he says

Mar 04, 2024 05:03 PM IST

ISRO chief S Somanath said that following the Aditya-L1 launch, he had an operation and underwent chemotherapy to cure the cancer.

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief S Somanath was diagnosed with cancer on the day of solar mission Aditya-L1 launch, he recently revealed in an interview.

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S Somanath recently revealed he was diagnosed with cancer. (ANI/Mohd Zakir)
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S Somanath recently revealed he was diagnosed with cancer. (ANI/Mohd Zakir)

India's first solar observatory, Aditya-L1, was launched atop PSLV-C57 on September 2 for its journey to the Sun-Earth Lagrangian point 1. After four months of journey in space, it was placed in the intended orbit around the L1 point on January 6.

What did ISRO chief S Somanath say about his cancer?

In a Malayalam interview with Tarmak Media House, the ISRO chief recalled, “There were some health issues during Chandrayaan 3. However, I did not have a clear understanding about it.”

Two months later, S Somanath revealed, he discovered the issue on the day of the Aditya-L1 launch. “On the day Aditya-L1 was launched, I conducted a scan in the morning of that day. That was when I realised that I had a growth in my stomach. I gained a clue about it as soon as the launch occurred,” ISRO chief said.

Afterwards, in Chennai, he underwent a scan to confirm the problem. Subsequent tests within 2-3 days confirmed a hereditary disease and then he underwent an operation, he said.

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Now I am completely cured of cancer: ISRO chief S Somanath

“Following Aditya-L1, I was advised to undergo an operation. The operation was performed. After that, I underwent chemotherapy,” he said.

S Somanath said he shared the news with both his immediate family and close relatives and "I was able to alleviate my fears".

The revelation came as a shock to family members, he added.

“But now, I perceive cancer and its treatment as a solution. There is a message that it is not incurable,” S Somanath said that he is cured of the disease.

“I will be undergoing regular check-ups every year. I will be undergoing scans. But now, I am completely cured. I have resumed my duties,” he said.

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Who is ISRO chief S Somanath?

S Somanath currently holds the position of secretary, department of Space and chairman, space commission, since January 14, 2022. Previously, he served as the director of Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) and Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre (LPSC).

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S Somanath is an expert in the field of system engineering of launch vehicles. His contributions to the overall architecture, propulsion stages design, structural and structural dynamics designs, separation systems, and integration procedures of PSLV and GSLV Mk-III have been noteworthy.

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