Sriharikota: ISRO's PSLV C44 lifted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on Thursday, carrying India's military satellite Microsat-R and students' payload Kalamsat.

The Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) workhorse Polar rocket blasted off from the first launch pad at 11.37 pm at the end of a 28-hour countdown and soared into the clear and starry night sky, in the first mission for ISRO in 2019.

In its 46th flight, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C44) would place the 740-kg primary satellite Microsat-R, an imaging satellite meant for military purposes, in a 274-km polar sun-synchronous orbit about 14 minutes after the lift-off, the ISRO said.

After this, the stage four of the rocket with the Kalamsat, a 10-CM size cube and weighing 1.2 kg, would be moved to a higher circular orbit so as to establish an orbital platform for carrying out experiments using the tiny payload.

Kalamsat is said to be the lightest satellite of India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday congratulated ISRO and said that India has become the first country to use the fourth stage of a space rocket as an orbital platform for microgravity experiments.

"Heartiest congratulations to our space scientists for yet another successful launch of PSLV. This launch has put in orbit Kalamsat, built by India's talented students. With this launch, India also becomes the first country to use the fourth stage of a space rocket as an orbital platform for microgravity experiments," the Prime Minister tweeted on Friday.

ISRO chief K Sivan said, “The ISRO is open to all students of India. Bring to us your satellites and we will launch it for you. Let's make India into a science-fairing nation."

"PSLV-C44 mission successfully injected into Microsat - R. The mission is not ordinary; C44 is the first mission of PSLV-DL and is a new variant of PSLV. It's the lowest altitude the PSLV flown still now. Kalamsat which was built by space kids, they are here and congratulated them,” he added.

Also watch: ISRO launches student-developed Kalamsat, named after Abdul Kalam

With PTI inputs