Tianlian I

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Tianlian I
Manufacturer CAST
Country of origin People's Republic of China
Operator CASC
Applications Communications
Bus DFH-3
Regime Geostationary
Status In service
Launched 4
Operational 4
First launch Tianlian I-01
25 April 2008
Last launch Tianlian I-04
22 November 2016

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.[1] Functionally, 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.[2] Tianlian I-01 is able to cover around half of the spacecraft's trajectory, compared to around 12 percent which had been covered using tracking stations and a fleet of ships. Tianlian I-02 was launched on 11 July 2011, Tianlian I-03 on 25 July 2012 and Tianlian I-04 on 22 November 2016.[3] The satellites are in geostationary orbit.[4]

Tianlian-1 satellites[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stephen Clark (2008-04-25). "Chinese data relay spacecraft put into orbit". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  2. ^ Yan Liang (2008-04-25). "China blasts off first data relay satellite". Xinhua. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  3. ^ Xin Dingding (2012-07-27). "Satellite launch completes network". China Daily. Retrieved 2012-08-17. 
  4. ^ David Todd (2012-07-26). "Chinese data relay satellite TianLian-1C is launched successfully on a Long March 3C". Flightglobal. Retrieved 2012-08-17.