Wednesday, April 3, 2019

China Launches New Data Relay Satellite

The Tianlian II-01 satellite is launched by a Long March-3B carrier rocket at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, on March 31, 2019. China sent the new data relay satellite into orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center late Sunday night. The Tianlian II-01 satellite was launched at 11:51 p.m. Beijing Time by a Long March-3B carrier rocket. As the first satellite to constitute China's second-generation data relay satellite network, the Tianlian II-01 will provide data relay, measurement and control, transmission services for manned spacecraft, satellites, carrier rockets and other non-spacecraft users. (Xinhua/Guo Wenbin)

China sent a new data relay satellite into orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province late Sunday night. The Tianlian II-01 satellite was launched at 11:51 p.m. Beijing Time by a Long March-3B carrier rocket.

This launch was already expected in 2018, but was pushed back to 2019.

As the first satellite to constitute China's second-generation data relay satellite network, the Tianlian II-01 will provide data relay, measurement and control, transmission services for manned spacecraft, satellites, carrier rockets and other non-spacecraft users.

The Tianlian II network will be markedly more advanced in mission planning, system management and operations than the first-generation network composed of Tianlian I satellites.

The new network, with faster data transfer and higher multi-objective service capability, will play an important role in improving the transmission promptness, in-orbit security and mission flexibility for medium- and low-Earth orbiting satellites and manned spacecraft.

The satellite is developed by the China Academy of Space Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

The Chinese tracking and data relay system is similar to the American Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) in concept.

The system is designed to support near-real-time communications between orbiting spacecraft and the ground control, and will complement the ground-based space tracking and telemetry stations and ships to support future space projects.

The launch marks the 301st mission of the Long March carrier rocket series.

Source: xinhuanet.com


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