China launched their Tianlian-1 05 satellite into orbit via a Long March-3C carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Southwest China’s Sichuan Province late on Tuesday, July 6 — this launch completes the constellation of the nation’s first-generation, data-tracking and relay, communication satellites.
The rocket blasted off at 11:53 pm and sent the Tianlian-1 05 satellite into a geostationary orbit, according to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp. (CAST), the state-owned, aerospace contractor. The new satellite will join forces with the Tianlian-1 01, 02, 03, 04 and Tianlian-2 01 satellites. This bevy of satellites will provide communications coverage for Chinese spacecraft and the country will now become the second nation to have a global relay satellite system, following the United States.
Tianlian-1 05 was developed by the CAST, which is affiliated with the China Aerospace Science And Technology Corporation (CASC). The satellite will provide data relay, measurement and control information transmission and orbit determination services for spacecraft and other related platforms. This is the fifth of the Tianlian-1 family, the country’s first-generation data-tracking and relay satellite network.