China has successfully put its Tianlian-2-02 data relay satellite into orbit in order to more effectively transmit data from the national space station, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) said in a statement on the WeChat social network
According to CASC, the satellite was launched aboard a CZ-3B carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center at 00:09 am local time.
The corporation specified that the device would also be used to improve the performance of remote sensing satellites placed in low and medium Earth orbit. It is also expected to improve the reliability of China’s space launches.
China’s national space station is operating at an altitude of about 400 km above Earth and has a service life of over ten years. It can accommodate three astronauts or up to six people upon a crew change. The T-shaped orbital outpost that integrates three docking ports and an airlock weighs 66 tonnes and its total indoor space is 110 cubic meters. The space station is expected to switch to full operation in 2022 and will be available for international projects, the Chinese authorities say.