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China’s first launch of 2021 orbits communications satellite

China’s first launch of 2021 orbits communications satellite
If you would like to see more articles like this please support our coverage of the space program by becoming a Spaceflight Now Member. If everyone who enjoys our website helps fund it, we can expand and improve our coverage further. A Long March 3B rocket lifts off from the Xichang launch base with the…

If you wish to see more posts like this please support our protection of the area program by becoming a Spaceflight Now Member If everyone who enjoys our website helps money it, we can broaden and enhance our protection further.


A Long March 3B rocket lifts off from the Xichang launch base with the Tiantong 1-03 satellite. Credit: CASC

A Chinese Long March 3B rocket deployed the Tiantong 1-03 satellite to supply mobile interactions services after an effective launch Tuesday, the very first of more than 40 Chinese area objectives set for liftoff in 2021.

The 184- foot-tall (56- meter) Long March 3B rocket lifted off from the Xichang launch base at 11: 25 a.m. EST (1625 GMT) Tuesday with the third satellite in the Tiantong 1 communications network, signing up with 2 others introduced in 2016 and 2020, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., referred to as CASC, the main state-owned specialist for the Chinese area program.

After shedding its four strap-on liquid-fueled boosters, core stage, and a 2nd phase in the very first couple of minutes of the flight, the Long March 3B’s hydrogen-fueled upper stage provided the Tiantong 1-03 satellite to an on-target geostationary transfer orbit ranging between 113 miles (182 kilometers) and 22,254 miles (35,815 kilometers) in elevation.

The spacecraft separated from the launcher’s upper phase, and was anticipated to begin a series of orbit-raising maneuvers to reach a circular orbit more than 22,000 miles over the equator. Prior to supplying communications services, the satellite will unfurl a giant antenna that will allow it to link with users equipped with portable terminals.

Artist’s idea of the Tiantong 1-03 satellite with its solar ranges and antenna deployed. Credit: CAST

The Tiantong network is created for S-band mobile communications services. Chinese authorities stated the new satellite will be used with the Tiangong 1-01 and Tiantong 1-02 satellites already in orbit, and the network will offer coverage throughout the Asia-Pacific area, the Middle East, and parts of Africa.

The fleet will provide “all-weather, all-time, stable, and reliable mobile communications services such as voice, brief message, and data,” according to a CASC statement.

The launch was the very first of more than 40 area missions set up for liftoff from China this year, including the very first element of a Chinese space station in the next couple of months, followed by the launch of a supply ship to the complex, and the flight of the very first astronauts to the outpost prior to the end of 2021.

2 more spaceport station modules will be included 2022 to complete the preliminary assembly of the orbiting complex.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1


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