BEIJING, July 26 (Xinhuanet) -- China has launched its Tianlian I-03 satellite from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan province. This marks the completion of the country’s first data relay satellite network.
The satellite was launched on a Long March-3C carrier rocket at 11:43 p.m. Beijing Time. It will join two other satellites already in orbit to complete the system following validation and system coordination procedures.
The third satellite is expected to improve the network’s coverage in providing measurement and control services for China’s manned spacecraft and planned space labs and stations.
It will also offer data relay services for the medium- and low-Earth orbits as well as measurement and control support for spacecraft launches. The two-satellite network had previously played a key role in assisting China’s space docking missions.