|Country of origin||People's Republic of China|
|First launch||Tianlian I-01
25 April 2008
|Last launch||Tianlian I-03
25 July 2012
Tianlian I (Simplified Chinese: 天链一号, Traditional Chinese: 天鏈一號, English: Sky Chain), also known as Tian Lian 1, TL-1, and CTDRS-1 is a Chinese data tracking and relay communications satellite series. Based on the DFH-3 satellite bus, it will provide communication coverage for manned Shenzhou missions, from Shenzhou 7 onwards. In terms of function, it is similar to the United States Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System.
The first satellite Tianlian I-01 of the series was launched on the maiden flight of the Long March 3C carrier rocket, at 15:35 GMT on 25 April 2008, from LC-2 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre. Tianlian I-01 will be able to cover around half of the spacecraft's trajectory, compared to around 12 percent which was previously covered using tracking stations and a fleet of ships. Tianlian I-02 was launched in July 2011 and Tianlian I-03 was launched on 25 July 2012. The satellite is in geostationary orbit.
|Wikinews has related news: Long March 3C rocket launches Tianlian-1 satellite|
- Stephen Clark (2008-04-25). "Chinese data relay spacecraft put into orbit". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 2008-04-26.
- Yan Liang (2008-04-25). "China blasts off first data relay satellite". Xinhua. Retrieved 2008-04-26.
- Xin Dingding (2012-37-27). "Satellite launch completes network". China Daily. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
- David Todd (2012-07-26). "Chinese data relay satellite TianLian-1C is launched successfully on a Long March 3C". Flightglobal. Retrieved 2012-08-17.
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