Tianlian I


Tianlian I
ManufacturerChina Academy of Space Technology (CAST)
Country of originChina
OperatorChina Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)
ApplicationsTracking and Data Relay Satellite System
StatusIn service
Maiden launchTianlian I-01
25 April 2008
Last launchTianlian 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-02
  • Tianlian I-03
  • Tianlian I-04

Tianlian I-01

Tianlian I-01
Mission typeTracking and Data Relay Satellite
OperatorChina Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC)
COSPAR ID2008-019A
SATCAT no.32779
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeTianlian I
ManufacturerChina Academy of Space Technology (CAST)
Start of mission
Launch date25 April 2008, 15:35:11 UTC[5]
RocketLong March 3C
Launch siteXichang, LC-2
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit [6]
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:

  • 26 April 2008, 00:00 UTC, the Xi'an Satellite Control Center received the feedback signal, which showed the satellite accurately entered its predesigned orbit.
  • 30 April 2008, 08:25 UTC, the satellite was announced to be successfully set at 77.0° East over the equator.[8]

See also


  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