China launches second Tianlian II communication satellite

China has launched the second satellite for the Tianlian II tracking and data relay series. This satellite enables communications between spacecraft and is part of the new series of Tianlian satellites, after the initial launch of the first Tianlian II in March of 2019.  The liftoff occurred at 00:09 local time on December 14 from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. The launch vehicle was a Chang Zheng 3B/E and the launch was confirmed a success by the China National Space Administration (CNSA). The target orbit for the Tianlian satellites is a Geostationary Orbit (GEO). The Tianlian satellites are used to provide a data relay for crewed vehicles and space assets of the Chinese program. This includes communication with the Chinese Space Station and low Earth orbit resource satellites. The first Tianlian II satellite has been in use since December 2019. It was used to control Shenzhou missions and the Tiangong space station. The updated second generation of this has a lifespan of 15 years and weighs 600 kg. In contrast to the first generation of the satellites, which is using the S-band with 2 GHz, the second uses the k-band with more than 20 GHz. This leads to speeds up…

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China launches second Tianlian II communication satellite

Updated: December 13, 2021 — 9:27 pm