India launches first satellite to space since start of lockdown
New Delhi, Nov 7 (efe-epa).- India on Saturday successfully launched its first satellite into space since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown on 25 March, a rocket shipment which also includes nine commercial satellites made by three other countries.
The launch was carried out by a PSLV-C49 polar vehicle at 15.11 local time (9.41 GMT), from a platform at the Sriharikota base in the south-eastern state of Andhra Pradesh, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement.
“After 15 minutes and 20 seconds, EOS-01 was successfully injected into its orbit. Subsequently, nine commercial satellites were injected into their intended orbits,” ISRO said.
The EOS-01 is an Earth observation satellite, designed to provide data and support in agriculture, forestry and disaster management.
The other nine commercial satellites belong to the United States (4), Luxembourg (1) and Lithuania (1), according to the agency.
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,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a message on his official Twitter account.
The launch is the first since India imposed a strict lockdown on March 25 to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The country has 8.4 million cases and more than 125,000 deaths, although that has not prevented New Delhi from lifting many of the restrictions.
The last Indian satellite launch was on 17 January.
India, which has one of the world’s most active space programmes, began putting satellites into Earth’s orbit in 1999 and is part of the small group of countries that have a satellite navigation system.
Its missions to the Moon and Mars, as well as its economical launches of dozens of satellites at the same time, have led to many countries choosing the South Asian giant to put their small-scale devices into orbit. EFE-EPA