SOURCE: Express News Service

After nine months of dry run, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will soon be taking to the skies. Two PSLV rocket launches are planned, tentatively, in November, and the work is underway in full swing at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC-Shar) in Sriharikota.

The last mission executed from Indian soil was PSLV-C48 carrying “spy” satellite RISAT-2BR1 on December 11, 2019. Although GSLV-F10 launch was planned on March 5, the mission had to be postponed due to technical reasons. Since then, the pandemic has crippled ISRO operations.

The spaceport was particularly hit by over 150 cases of Covid-19, forcing it to go on a temporary shutdown, but the operations are slowly being restored. As per the latest working modalities issued by Shar controller M Srinivasulu Reddy, a copy of which is available with TNIE, ISRO is planning to launch PSLV-C49 and PSLV-C50.

“All employees in the scientific and technical category, and all officers in administrative category shall attend duties on all working days. All other employees shall attend work based on a roster that ensures 50 per cent workforce attendance,” the circular stated.

It added: “However, in exigencies of services and also to meet critical needs, the heads may engage more than 50 per cent of staff.” Employees are directed to inform the office, if self or any of their family member is undergoing a Covid-19 test, and shall self-isolate till a conclusive result is obtained. “Suppression of information will be viewed seriously and action will be initiated,” the circular said.