Tasting its first success in the year, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched the 700 kg imaging satellite Microsat-R, meant for Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) and Kalamsat from the First Launch Pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre SHAR Range in Sriharikota near Chennai at 11.37 pm on Thursday. Speaking to the media, ISRO Chairman K Sivan, said, "The first mission of 2019 is a grand success. Another innovation is the making the fourth stage, as an experimental platform to do technology demonstrations and carry out science experiments by students."
He asked students in India to develop such satellites and ISRO would take care of the launch. The ISRO chief also said his organisation was developing a Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV), smaller than the PSLV. The first SSLV launch will take place this year, he added. The launch is PSLV’s 46th flight and the first flight with a new variant of PSLV called PSLV-DL with two strap-ons, each carrying 12.2-tonne of solid propellent.
The launch occurred at 11:37 p.m. Indian Standard Time, making it a rare night launch from India’s spaceport. PSLV-C44's fourth stage (PS4), which is an experimental orbital platform for carrying out technology demonstration, was moved to a higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments.