K Sivan was appointed chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Wednesday. He will replace AS Kiran Kumar, who has headed the organisation since January 12, 2015. “Right now our mind is filled with the current launch,” K Sivan said in a telephone interview. “This is a very important launch for us, because it comes after a failure, we are working hard to make sure this launch is a success.”“The organisation has been led by legendary leaders like Vikram Sarabhai, Satish Dhawan, U.R. Rao. It is a major responsibility,” Sivan said. “Our current chairperson, AS Kiran Kumar, has put it on a big track, I would like to take the work forward.”K Sivan, currently the director of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre in Kerala, is an alumni of the Madras Institute of Technology where he studied aeronautical engineering. Sivan joined ISRO in 1982 in the PSLV project.Alur Seelin Kiran Kumar, a scientist and engineer, was key in India’s Mars Orbiter Mission that was launched on September 24, 2014.Kumar launched his career in ISRO at the Space Applications Centre (SAC) in 1975. In 2012, he took over as director of the centre.The first ISRO launch of 2018 is scheduled for Friday morning, when the Cartosat II lifts off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. The launch will be closely watched not just in India but across the world. The Indian space agency’s last launch in August 2017, failed because the heat shield failed to deploy. After a short hiatus in launch activity the agency is back in the launch game.