China launched 3rd satellite in its global data relay network.
On July 25, 2012 at 15:43 UTC the "Chang Zheng-3C” (Long March-3C) rocket-carrier was launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province in southwest of China.
The rocket orbited the "Tianlian I-03” satellite completing the country's first data relay satellite network system.
The satellite will join its two predecessors to realize global network operation.
The third satellite is expected to improve the network's coverage in providing measurement and control services for China's manned spacecraft as well as the planned construction of future space labs and space stations, according to the center. The network will also offer data relay services for the country's medium- and low-Earth orbits as well as measurement and control support for spacecraft launches.
The satellite was developed by the China Academy of Space Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.
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