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China launches new data relay satellite

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China sent a new data relay satellite into orbit from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on 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 would provide data relay and TT&C (telemetry, tracking, and command) services for manned spacecraft and low and middle orbit resources satellites.

It would also support the TT&C for the spacecraft launch.

After entering its preset orbit, the newly launched satellite would 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.

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