China launches second generation data relay Tianlian II-01 satellite

China has successfully launched the first of its new-generation ‘Tianlian II-01’ data relay satellite into orbit by a Long March-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in southwest Sichuan Province. This is the first of China’s second-generation data-tracking and relay satellites. It will provide services like data relay, measurement and control, and transmission to manned spacecraft, satellites, carrier rockets and 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 satellite is developed by the China Academy of Space Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.


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