The Indian Space Research Organisation on Saturday successfully launched the 51st mission of Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. The carrier vehicle PSLV-C49 launched from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh at 3.12 pm. 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, reported PTI.

The primary satellite EOS-01 and nine other customer satellites were successfully separated from the carrier vehicle and injected into their respective orbits.

Addressing the media after the launch, Indian Space Research Organisation chief K Sivan said that the mission was a “special and unusual” one as the team had to work as per the Covid-19 protocols, without compromising on quality.

“The space activity cannot be done from ‘work from home’,” Sivan said. “When talking about missions like these, each technician, employee has to work together.”

This is the first mission by the Indian Space Research Organisation this year.

The primary satellite EOS-01 is intended for applications in agriculture, forestry and disaster management support, PTI reported, quoting the space agency. The nine customer satellites are from Lithuania (1), Luxembourg (4) and United States of America (4).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah congratulated the Indian Space Research Organisation for the successful launch of its latest earth observation satellite. “In the time of Covid-19, our scientists overcame many constraints to meet the deadline,” Modi tweeted.

Shah said India is proud of the scientists. “This remarkable feat reflects the commitment and consistency of team ISRO,” he added.