Tianlian I

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Tianlian I
Manufacturer China Academy of Space Technology (CAST)
Country of origin China
Operator China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)
Applications Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System
Bus DFH-3
Regime Geostationary
StatusIn service
Maiden 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 crewed Shenzhou missions, from Shenzhou 7 onwards. [1] Functionally, it is similar to the United States Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System.


The first satellite of the series, Tianlian I-01, was launched on the maiden flight of the Long March 3C launch vehicle, at 15:35 UTC on 25 April 2008, from LC-2 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. [2] Tianlian I-01 is able to cover around half of the spacecraft's trajectory, compared to around 12% 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

Tianlian I-01

Tianlian I-01
Mission type Tracking and Data Relay Satellite
Operator China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)
COSPAR ID 2008-019A
SATCAT no. 32779
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type Tianlian I
Bus DFH-3
Manufacturer China Academy of Space Technology (CAST)
Start of mission
Launch date25 April 2008, 15:35:11 UTC [5]
Rocket Long March 3C
Launch site Xichang, LC-2
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric orbit [6]
Regime Geostationary
Longitude80.4° East

Tianlian I-01 (Simplified Chinese: 天链一号01星, Traditional Chinese: 天鏈一號01星) is the first Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) launched by People's Republic of China, and the first satellite of Tianlian I TDRS series. [7] The satellite has multiple roles and will especially serve for China's crewed spaceflight. Its first task could be for the Shenzhou 7 communication.


The satellite was launched successfully by the Long March 3C rocket in Xichang Satellite Launch Center on 25 April 2008, at 23:35 local time. It was the 105th launch of the Long March rocket family. The rocket had 3 stages, 2 roll boosters, a 55 metre height; and was liquid-fueled. Its initial weight was ~343 tons.

Its history includes:

See also

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  1. Stephen Clark (25 April 2008). "Chinese data relay spacecraft put into orbit". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 26 April 2008.
  2. Yan Liang (25 April 2008). "China blasts off first data relay satellite". Xinhua. Retrieved 26 April 2008.
  3. Xin Dingding (27 July 2012). "Satellite launch completes network". China Daily . Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  4. David Todd (26 July 2012). "Chinese data relay satellite TianLian-1C is launched successfully on a Long March 3C". Flightglobal. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  5. McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
  6. "CTDRS Satellite details 2008-019A NORAD 32779". N2YO. 23 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  7. 我国成功发射首颗数据中继卫星(组图)
  8. China sets up first space station for spacecraft data relay_English_Xinhua Archived 2008-09-18 at the Wayback Machine