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Nov. 22, 2016
Image above: China's first data relay satellite Tianlian-I is launched on a Long March-3C carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
China orbited its fourth tracking and data relay satellite in the Tianlian-1 range known as ‘Sky Link’ on Tuesday. The launch took place at 15:30 UTC from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province, utilizing a Long March 3C/G2 rocket.
China's Tianlian I-04 satellite launched by Long March 3C
The Chinese tracking and data relay satellites were developed by the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and it 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 ground control. The system will complement the ground-based space tracking and telemetry stations and ships to support future space projects.
Tianlian-1 data relay satellite
Like its predecessors, the Tianlian-1 (4) satellite is based on the DFH-3 bus. The DFH-3 (Dongfanghong-3) platform is a medium-capacity telecommunications satellite platform designed and developed by CAST.
The spacecraft can carry multiple telecommunications payloads for providing numerous services, such as fixed communication, international satellite communication, national and regional communication, wideband data communication, mobile communication and direct broadcast; military communication, spacecraft tracking and data relay.
For more information about China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), visit: http://english.spacechina.com/n16421/index.html
Images, Video, Text, Credits: CASC/Xinhua/CCTV+/Günter Space Page.
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