India successfully launched its latest earth observation satellite EOS-01 and nine customer satellites onboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C49) from the spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday.
The PSLV-C49 lifted off from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at 3.12 PM at the end of a 26 hour countdown and injected the satellites into orbit one after another 20 minutes later.
The lift-off was originally scheduled for 3.02 pm, but was delayed by 10 minutes due to debris on the path of the vehicle, ISRO said.
This is the first mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) this year.
EOS-01 is intended for applications in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, the space agency said.
The customer satellites are from Lithuania (1), Luxembourg (4) and USA (4).
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated ISRO over the successful launch. He also praised the scientists associated with the mission.
"I congratulate @ISRO and India's space industry for the successful launch of PSLV-C49/EOS-01 Mission today. In the time of COVID-19, our scientists overcame many constraints to meet the deadline," PM Modi tweeted.
"Nine satellites, including four each from the US and Luxembourg and one from Lithuania, have also been launched in the Mission," he added.
ISRO chief K Sivan said the mission "is very special and unusual for ISRO". "The space activity cannot be done from 'work from home'. Each engineer has to be present at the lab. When talking about missions like these, each technician, employee has to work together," he said.
Sivan said that the ISRO team raised to the occasion and worked during the COVID-19 pandemic. "During this pandemic, team ISRO raised to the occasion, worked as per COVID guidelines, without compromising on quality. It's really heartening to see all ISRO employees doing quality work at this time," he added.
(With PTI inputs)