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Tianlian 1-01 in Orbit for Six Years
SOURCE: China Space News     UPDATED: 2014-05-16

BEIJING, May 10 (China Space News) — China's first data relay satellite Tianlian 1-01has been operating for more than six years since its launch into space.

Development of the satellite began in 2003 and lasted for five years. It was launched on April 25, 2008, and delivered to the customer on Dec. 4 the same year.

During its operation, Tianlian 1-01 completed a number of manned space missions successfully and stably, including the Shenzhou-7 spacecraft, Shenzhou-8 spacecraft, Shenzhou-9 spacecraft, Shenzhou-10 spacecraft and the Tiangong-1 space module.

Besides serving for the country's manned space sector, the satellite also supported ships and rockets through its data relay services.

Now China’s data relay satellite network system, composed of the Tianlian 1-01, Tianlian 1-02 and Tianlian 1-03 satellites, has been completed and is operating successfully, indicating that China became the second country, after the United States, to have a quasi global coverage of the data relay system.