The head of India’s lead launch vehicle development center has been tapped to replace G. Madhavan Nair as chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), according to ISRO spokesman S. Satish.

Nair, ISRO’s chairman since 2003, was set to step down Oct. 31 and be succeeded by K. Radhakrishnan, the director of ISRO’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre since 2007.

Radhakrishnan began his ISRO career in 1971 as an avionics engineer at Vikram. Prior to returning two years ago to lead the center, Radhakrishnan was the director of India’s National Remote Sensing Agency in Hyderabad. He also has served as director of the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services and as vice chairman of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.