China launches new data relay satellite
XICHANG, July 13 (Xinhua) -- China sent a new data relay satellite into orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province Wednesday.
The Tianlian II-03 satellite was launched at 12:30 a.m. (Beijing Time) by a Long March-3B carrier rocket.
Developed by the China Academy of Space Technology, Tianlian II-03 is China's second-generation geosynchronous orbit data relay satellite.
It will provide data relay and TT&C (telemetry, tracking and command) services for manned spacecraft and low and middle orbit resources satellites. It will also support the TT&C for spacecraft launch.
After entering its preset orbit, the newly launched satellite will create a global network with in-orbit Tianlian II-01 and Tianlian II-02.
A relay satellite functions as a space-based data transfer station. China's Tianlian satellites mainly support data relay and TT&C for its spaceships, space labs and space station currently under construction.
They have helped accomplish major missions such as Earth-space conversations, spacecraft rendezvous and docking, space classes and spacewalks.
This was the 426th flight mission of the Long March carrier rocket series.