China launches satellite for data relay network

China has launched a satellite to complete the country’s first data relay satellite network that has assisted in space docking missions.

China successfully launched the Tianlian I-03 satellite from a launch centre in Sichuan province. Tianlian I-03 is the third in a series of satellites and marks the completion of the country’s first data relay satellite network, Xinhua news agency reported. The satellite was launched on a Long March-3C carrier rocket at 11.43 last night (Beijing Time).

Together the three satellites that are in orbit now complete the system following validation and system coordination procedures.

The third satellite is expected to improve the network’s coverage in providing measurement and control services for China’s manned spacecraft and planned space labs and stations. It will also offer data relay services for the medium- and low-Earth orbits as well as measurement and control support for spacecraft launches.

At that distance, the Webb telescope will be ‘too far from Earth to be serviced by astronauts like Hubble was,’ noted MacLean. ‘The technology simply has to work.’

To observe objects billions of light years away, the Webb, equipped with a primary mirror about seven times larger than Hubble’s and a tennis court-sized sunshield, will be large enough to gather very faint light to help scientists look back to a time when galaxies were forming, and cold enough to detect infrared light, or heat, emitted from distant objects while operating in a temperature of -230 degrees Celsius for five to 10 years.

By contrast, the Hubble telescope was designed to operate at 21 degrees Celsius and look at ultraviolet and visible light.

About 100 times as powerful as the Hubble, the Webb will essentially take photographs of ‘the first stars lighting up at the beginning of the universe,’ said David Lizius, president of Ottawa-based Com Dev, which built the instrumentation. ‘It’s never been done before,’ he said.
Next Story
Share it